FF009: I finally finishing writing something! Now I'll permit myself to read fanfics again. Ehh, I don't like this one lol nothing really original, just experimenting with the Riku/Xion pairing, which I absolutely love already. ^___^ Hope the game doesn't let me down. Read if you want.
The Moment You Know
"Do you hate me for taking away your friends?" Xion asked in a tightened tone and turned around to see Riku watching her through his blindfold.
"No," he answered in sweetest, tenderest voice. "But...I'm sad."
She blinked widening eyes and quickly bowed her head in repentance to him. "I'm sorry. But, I can't disappear now."
He sucked in air, wondering if he shouldn't have admitted that.
The worst thing was that ever since their latest conversation, Riku could not stop thinking about the fourteenth Organization member.
He couldn't figure her out.
She was the strangest effect, how he opened up to her about his feelings without having to guard his heart.
Riku tipped his head up, watching the world of Destiny's Islands around him.
The sky was highlighted in an aura of pinkish-orange and magenta-red pigments, aligned with the standard golden rays of the setting sun resting on top of the ocean. There are no clouds today, nothing to obscure the heavenly dome above him. At that moment, staring through his blindfold at the lights and the sea, Riku fully appreciates the beauty of his home.
He crunched his heavy black boots across the sand, damp and dark from the foam of wavering waves. His mind wandered, blinded eyes looking across the short span of sea to the main island before staring up again.
The colors of the sky reminded him of the tangerine tree Wakka had in his front yard.
He remembered how he and Sora'd walk over there during the summer, with Kairi skipping along. They'd sit under it with the others, sweating under the shade and make up stories of brave adventures. Sometimes, if the heat wasn't too unbearable, they'd act out their dreams with zest, empty juice boxes of apple juice littered under the hanging fruit. Wakka's mom would always make them pick up their mess before they could leave for the play island.
He laughed to himself at this point in the memory.
He actually was missing those stupid boring days.
With a silent sigh Riku strolled on across the shoreline aimlessly. He wondered why the others wouldn't be here. But then he remembered the new school year started a long time ago, and all of his friends were growing up without Sora and him.
Kairi must felt so out of place, witnessing what happened to Sora and him at Hollow Bastion, and no one bothered to fully explain what the hell he did. That he forced Sora to spiritually commit suicide. He practically did.
And it was his fault, his jealously...
His pink tongue dashed over his lower lip, trying to remember the sweet taste of apple juice. Yet all he could taste was the salt grains from the waters.
Familiar all the same.
With a final, lingering stare at the sky Riku turned his back to it and walked inland to the side of the wooden shed. Effortlessly he stepped up to the wall and palmed the edge of the roof, lifting his upper body up enough to squeeze his knees on the wood. He pulled the rest of his body on in a short crawl, his gloved hands protected from any splinters sticking out. As he picked himself up in a stand, his veiled vision passed over black boots standing a couple feet in front of him.
"The Organization? Here?!" Riku gasped as he whipped out his weapon and pulled back into his battle stance stand.
Several things happen at this point.
As Riku stepped back, his gaze lifted enough to see perplexed blue eyes shaded under black bangs. As he was catching his breath in surprise at this sudden appearance of Xion, he underestimated the amount of floor behind him. And, quite simply, plopped over the edge with a yelp, the Way to the Dawn disappearing in a clutter of glittering light beside him.
He grunted, lifting up on his elbows as heavy footsteps rushed to the edge of the shed.
Dark, round blue eyes gazed down at Riku rubbing his head, the pale face shaded under a leather hood.
"Riku! I'm sorry, did I...surprise you?" a light, feminine voice floated down to him. Scoffing out a huff of air, Riku looked up with an almost smiling face.
"Uh, no," he said before pulling up to his feet and started to brush himself off before staring back up at the girl. "You outright scared me."
Xion's curious, confused eyes widen as she gasps. Riku almost smiled at her reactions to him; she always that look in her eyes. It was like gravity, pulling him in and opening his heart, and her eyes did it effortlessly.
"So...I made you feel fear, then?" Xion analyzed in a fumbling whisper, cupping her right cheek as she digested this. "Huh..."
Riku's body shook once at her serious thinking before he almost busted a gut laughing. He bent over, holding his side, feeling tears of joy push againt his squeezed shut eyes. The black-haired girl pulled her hand down, staring at him with her lips pressed together, her eyes shining with unfriendly disgrace.
Riku kept laughing, falling to his one knee.
She balled her fists and stamped one high-heeled boot down against the roof of the shed, trying to get him to stop laughing at her.
Unfortunately this was really stupid.
Xion threw too much force into the slam and her heel pierced through the thin, wooden roof. The Nobody yelped as her leg sunk into the jagged hole it created, almost toppling over while waving her arms out. She winced as she leaned her weight on her right leg, feeling hundreds of splinters scratch against her trapped leg.
Biting her lip she looked out to Riku...who was still laughing.
"Riku!" she called out, though it sounded more of a desperate plea than an angry shout.
The silver-haired boy shook his mane out as he looked up to see Xion sorta suctioned into the old shed by her leg, looking back down at him with pouting lips.
Riku almost busted another rib at the bizarre sight.
"Riku, it's not funny!" Xion retorted almost angrily.
"Yes—it is!" he gasped between laughs. "Some Organization member you are."
Xion practically growled and shivered with anger, her patience at the breaking point. After a few more seconds of pulling himself together, Riku walked forward and pulled himself up on the ledge. Turning to her he smirked haughtily. Xion determinedly stared ahead, though the boy could see her eyebrow twitching.
"Those are some heels they gave you, huh?" Riku threw out casually and put his hands on his hips while tilting his head to the side.
"Can you please just help me out already?" Xion insisted, trying to pull her leg out. Chuckling, Riku ducked his head down and approached her.
"Sorry," he mumbled as he knelt down in front of her to help jiggle her foot out. Almost losing balance Xion threw her hands down on his shoulders for support. She sighed and bowed her head as he was, her blue-eyed vision squinting past his long silver hair spilling down his chest.
"Maybe I should use the Keyblade..."
More laughter. "Xion, your foot isn't locked in, just stuck."
He shook his head, white teeth revealed with his wide grin. "You are something, Xion."
Her hands squeezed down more on his hard shoulders when Riku tried to pull her foot out. He grunted, using fingers to try to pry back some stray wood pieces. The roof groaned when he did so.
At once he pulled his hands back, softly cursing.
"That isn't going to work," he said, looking up into her wide, royal blue eyes. And they were harboring memories of Sora that she was not supposed have...
He hastily shook his head, his long hair lightly whipping against Xion's knees. He refused to hear our DiZ's and especially Namine's words right now.
"—urn the area around it and try that..."
Riku blinked rapidly. "Wait, what?"
"You know, I'll cast a little fire around my foot to burn the wood away so I can wedge it out," Xion sighed and looked down, waving a hand around it to visualize her plan.
"Yeah, and you'll burn the whole thing down when you set yourself free. No way," Riku snorted. To this Xion folded her arms and glared.
"So what? You're just going to leave me here?"
"I won't leave you here."
Something Xion couldn't identify made her silently gasp, now watching him with renewed interest. Her black bangs swept over her eyes as she leaned forward more, not registering Riku bending more bark back with a grunt ever now and then. Absentmindedly she rubbed her tongue over the back of her teeth, wondering why she thinking too much into those words. The way he said that had so much emotion to it...
"But isn't your friend waiting for you to return here?" she whispered before she could stop herself, not even knowing where it came from inside her.
She felt the tiny tremor that took over his body vibrate to her hands. She squeezed down harder and leaned back slightly.
Now he looked up, the sad note in her voice bringing his blinded eyes up to search hers. "Xion..."
"I must be only a nuisance to you, taking up your time and bothering you with my questions," the Nobody started to explain with her eyes glued to her trapped leg. "Why?"
Riku kept his eyes down, busying his hands. "Why what?"
"Why do you keep letting me talk to you? Why don't you stop me?!"
A grunt sounded out as Riku suddenly pulled Xion's leg up. Or tried to. Her bent foot caught on wood and the girl ended up falling forward, throwing her arms around his shoulders as she swayed sideways. On instinct Riku threw an arm around Xion so she stayed upright.
"Sorry," he apologized quietly. He pushed his blindfold up so one aquamarine eye was glowing back at her flushed face. "Thought I almost had it. And, I like our conversations."
Xion could only blink, feeilng the air knocked out of her.
Riku let his arm around her fall back so he was leaning back against it. He sighed, keeping part of his blindfold held up as he looked at the trap. His chest rose and fell as he stared on, and Xion could hear his calm breathing. Despite the awkward sitting position with her trapped foot, she couldn't help but stare in wonder at Riku's visible eye.
"This thing is getting old," Riku said to himself. Xion's eyes fluttered a few times as she broke from her daydream before addressing him.
"Oh? You've know it for a while, then?"
He nodded with a smirk at her innocent wording. His visible eye softened with remembrance of his childhood, almost in a grieving longing.
To this she reacted.
Delicately slow, Xion reached a hand out to touch his arm, but he stood up and leaned over her foot. He grabbed a loose hold on her lower calve as he looked over to her.
"I think this'll work."
"What do you mean?" Xion asked, flipping her long bangs out of her eyes. The sunset rayed around Riku's bent body, his blindfold still pushed up over one eye. A few strands of silver fell across his face, with most of his hair spilled over his left shoulder. Her eyes widened, finding the sight beautiful.
"I think, from the angle you're sitting at, we can wiggle it out," he explained. Xion instantly beamed.
"Really? Then let's try it!" she said in excitement. "I'm staring to lose feeling in my left leg."
Xion grasped down on the ground for leverage as Riku started to wiggle her foot out. Biting down on her tongue she flexed her foot every now and then. Inch by inch with the two of them doing this her foot started to rise out. When Xion felt it enough to pull out she sprang up like a rocket, staggering back on her two feet with a giddy smile.
"I'm out!" she cheered, doing a tiny jump with the freedom. Riku smiled as he picked himself up on his feet.
He pulled his blindfold down and walked across the shed without a word, climbing up and then onto the bridge for the paopu island. He halted when he heard Xion stumble a few feet behind him and turned around.
"Still kinda hurts," she admitted with a nervous laugh, as if pleasantly surprised and reached down to rub her left ankle. Riku made to turn around but the girl already gathered herself up, sashaying past him to the little land. She tilted her head up to the sunset as she came up behind the bent papou tree, running her hands along the smooth bark. He swallowed, blinking away from the tree and slowly approached her from behind.
"The sunset here is so different from the one in Twilight Town," Xion whispered, eyes half-open in peaceful relaxation. Riku put his hands in his pockets and stared at the ground.
"The sun's the same everywhere. It rises, it falls, and never touches the moon. Those are how days pass into time. It's just how it's always been and always will be."
"...I wonder...if they want to touch..."
"What?" Riku jerked his head up right as Xion turned around. She saw a muscle in her cheek twitch, trying to suppress the pain from her ankle. "Xion, if your ankle hurts, then sit down or you'll make it worse acting tough," he advised, tilting his head to the tree. She blinked and looked down a second before turning around and grabbed the tree, trying to pull her tiny body up and over it.
Laughing softly Riku walked up and helped her heave herself over, grasping her elbow as a support. Xion ducked her head and swiped both legs over the front, humming a lame thank you to him.
He stayed standing behind her on her left. Xion sighed, facing the glittering sea and orange sun with a wry smile.
"Always never touching..." She flicked her gaze down, dejected. "Like a Nobody can never touch a heart...."
The girl kept her gaze down, watching the clear blue waves drift into the edges of the paopu island, her icy blue eyes devoid of life. She cupped her hands together, her body tightening with the empty ache in her chest. The tree then suddenly groaned with more weight upon it and a iron-hard body of warmth gently pressed against her from behind.
Xion jumped in shivers and her face flushed pink at this contact. She had no idea what was going on. Riku's arms wrapped up around her and pull her back into his chest while his legs squeezed gently against hers, taking her in a cage in his arms.
Her breath hitched as he buried his face in her left shoulder, making her body feel jumpy and warm. Xion gulped, not understanding why she felt so safe, trapped in his arms.
He could kill her...
But he never did, a voice in Xion's mind nagged back.
He shook his head. "One sec."
Xion pressed her lips together, frozen in his hard arms. She felt safe but not comfortable in...whatever this was.
"What are you doing?" she whispered. This surely was not allowed. She wasn't even supposed to be here outside of missions, being this close to the Organization's enemy was like heresy. Well, Xion didn't care for sticking to rules. "Wh-why are you holding me like this?"
Riku smiled with a low laugh, the innocent question charming him out of his dark thoughts.
"This is a hug," he said and lifted his head, side glancing at her averted eyes through his blindfold, almost playfully. "What? You Organization guys don't even know what a hug is?"
Her memoryless mind never heard of such an action, and she could only bow her head and stare in shame at her boots. Riku flinched, her uncertainty now making him feel like he made a mistake. He loosened his muscled arms.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to make you uncomfortable there."
He uncoiled his arms slowly.
The connection peeled away as Riku wiggled back a couple of inches. He couldn't fully move away from Xion. And he wasn't quite sure why.
Slivers of sea air filtered between them, proof of the separation between their bodies. He frowned but doesn't press Xion's mind, afraid he'll drive her away. Dragging a hand through his long hair Riku gripped down on the bark beside Xion's thighs to stay somewhat sitting. He sighed and stared out at the familiar sights of his childhood, letting his mind unwind in the blowing breezes.
The two stayed like this...kust like this...for a few silent minutes. So close without any touch.
Like the sun and the moon, in a way.
Eventually a bead of sweat rolled down the side of Xion's face.
Why was he still sitting behind her?
Touch was gone but she could feel his body heat. His legs were still lightly against hers, his breath was a faint tickle on the back of her neck. It made her jump a bit when she focused on it. Strangely, Xion didn't mind his invasion of space. His cologne wavering around her is almost intoxicating.
The Nobody fiddled her fingers together formlessly, wondering if she should bother Riku with more of her questions. Riku always answered them, though. So that must have meant he was willing to talk to her.
She closed her vivid blue eyes and tilted her chin down, readying for rejection. "Riku..."
He grunted. Xion knew this was approval to continue.
She clasped her hands together tighter, ignoring the hard ache stretching in them. "Can I ask you something?"
Riku smirked, a ray of twilight beaming on the hollow of his throat as he shrugs. "Depends."
"Uh? Ohhh," Xion breathed, momentarily glancing up at the setting sun. "Right, well...I don't want to make you mad or uncomfortable, but I..."
The smile was practically dripping from his soft voice. Xion felt a fluttering feeling in her stomach and licked her chapped lips, shaking it off.
"What emotion is the best to feel?"
The sea breezes caressed the two, the silence spreading as they only breathed on.
"Love?" Xion repeated, slowly rolling this new word off her tongue.
"Yeah. It's...the best feeling a heart can experience."
"What's it like?"
"Well...there are different kinds of love," he whispered so softly that it caused a shiver to roll down Xion's spine. "Depending on the person, the love is different and varies in strength."
"Really?" Xion said curiously and kicked her feet out. She almost turned around but kept herself in check. Riku half-smiled, the strain of his mission seeming as small as the main island in the distant. "How many kinds?"
"Heh, well...there's the love you have for your parents," he whispered and then swallowed. "Though, sometimes they can be overbearing and you hate them. But I...."
"I don't anymore. But they can't know that now."
"I'm fine, forget about it."
Xion glanced over her shoulder, but Riku shrugged, ever elusive from having his heart and pain revealed. "Try to think of it as your relationship with Xemnas. He sets the rules, tells you what to do, and will issue punishment if you get out of line, right? That's what my parent did for me. It's almost like that in a way when you think about it."
"I see...hm." She licked her lips, tasting salt from the faint spray of the ocean. "What are the other kinds?"
Riku chuckled, combing a hand through his long hair. "Love between friends. It's different than family. Friends aren't connected by blood, but we can be closer than that." He frowned and closed his eyes, not wanting to delve in that subject, sitting on this very tree where he had no right to be over Kairi and Sora.
"And then there's...lovers."
He could have sworn Xion fidgeted.
"Mm. Two people really, truly love each other, and spent their time together. They accept each other, flaws and all. They trust their partner, and depend on them, and share everything with them. But sometimes it doesn't last."
He smiled. She really had no idea how life worked. Just like a child.
"Lotta things. Most of the time it's stupid stuff, like lack of good communication, or they like someone else..."
"That's sad," Xion said. "That love can die so easily."
"It is, but that's life. We can't always hold our destiny in our own hands."
Xion nodded, listening for him to continue. But then a seagull called out from behind them, causing her to almost jump off the tree. In a flash Riku grabbed her by the arms to steady her. She looked back at him breathless and nodded thanks as the noise of flapping feathered wings rose over them. As one they looked up, watching the seagull soar through the air, shrinking into the darkening sky as it went away.
Xion was watching it with a yearning, wishing she could so effortlessly fly away.
"It's getting late," she heard Riku mumble, shifting back as he pulled himself off the tree and onto his feet. The wind blew colder now, a familiar sensation to the silver-haired boy. He shook his head—he needed to get away from here, or he'd fall in the darkness of his sorrow.
Xion nodded. "Yeah...I should return to them..." She pushed herself off, landing soundlessly on her feet and turned around. "Um, Riku?"
He raised an eyebrow, unable to speak in time when she shuffled around the tree trunk and collided into his diamond-hard chest.
He staggered back, forgetting to breath and unable to comprehend this just happened.
Her tiny leather-gloved hands slid up his chest, coming to a rest over his heart beating too rapidly for him to count the beats. She breathed out, nesting her head beside her clasped hands. And Riku just stood there, not having a clue what to do.
Apprehensively he peeked out from under the fabric of his blindfold, watching her stand against him with closed eyes. His chest rippled with a suppressed laugh.
Before Xion could move away at this, Riku swiftly swiped an arm around her shoulders and pressed his face into her soft hair. She trembled and ended up leaning more against him, almost lost her footing at his sudden action. He groaned peacefully, letting himself press his cold lips against her silky black hair.
Xion forced herself to stand still. Her eyelids slightly lowered, the rich smell of his cologne making her knees feel like jelly.
"Why'd you do that?" he mumbled.
"I....wanted to give you a hug, too. To thank you for giving me another good memory."
He laughed—why did it seem easy for Xion to let him laugh?
Feeling the corners of his eyes grow wet, he nodded and threw his other arm around her middle, squeezing her against his body.
"Thank you for this memory, too."
Xion smiled, turning her head so she could watch the last of the sun drip into the ocean. Riku breathed her scent in, a mix of roses and water lilies. He prayed to Namine she would never take Xion out of his heart, prayed to DiZ he'd never have to fight her again; he knew it'd hurt beyond heartache if she was erased away from his heart.
Yet, deep in his heart, he knew this was a star-crossed prayer.