Sora wakes up and he's already late.

"Hurry up, Sora, or we'll leave without you!" They yell at his open window.

So he does. He hurries like his life depends on it, because, in a way, life as he knows it does.

Just like every other morning.

Sora skips breakfast and runs out the door but Riku and Kairi are already walking down the road.

He runs to catch up.


"Work hard, Sora, or we'll move on without you!" They say.

So he does. He works harder than anyone else.

Kairi didn't miss as much school as them so she doesn't need to worry as much.

Riku's smart and intelligent and perfect so he doesn't need to worry at all.

Sora missed as much school as Riku but he is clumsy with his papers and doesn't listen very well in class because his head is elsewhere so he worries most.

It's okay though. He'll catch up. They expect him to.

So he will.


"Come with us, Sora, have fun! You wouldn't want us to leave without you and make new friends, right?" They say when they want him to go out with them.

They tried it all. Nothing really stuck but they still wanted to say they'd done it.

Smocking. Alcohol. Porn. Making out. Drugs.

Actually, Sora's pretty sure Riku's not a virgin anymore. And he only half believes Kairi when she tells him she's still waiting for 'the one'.

Sora doesn't want to be left behind.

So he does.

He smokes with them and coughs his lungs out and washes all his clothes when he gets home.

He orders drinks in clubs where they don't get carded and purposely leaves them on the table so he doesn't have to pick them up again.

He sits and watches as Kairi and Riku laugh at some random porno they decided to bring home. He doesn't get what's so funny but he laughs with them anyway.

He only accepts invitations to fooling around when he knows Kairi and Riku are close and probably watching him.


He played tonsil hockey with Kairi once and it felt like kissing the sister he never had but he lied to her and told her she was a great kisser. He even said she was completely right about guys loving flavoured lip gloss, even though it made him gag and he almost up-chucked in her mouth. Guys everywhere must really hate him for that one.

Riku gave him a hickey once, at a party. Sora might have actually liked it (a lot, even) but when he realized he might be falling for his best friend, he did everything he could to forget it ever happened. He knew Riku only wanted to make him moan and nothing more. The realization hurt, but not as much as it would have if he tried to ignore reality.

He can't imagine something Kairi and Riku haven't tried yet. He saw Kairi sniff coke in the guys' bathroom of a bar once. He draws his own personal line there.


"Keep up with the trends, Sora, or we'll be embarrassed to hang with you!"

They drag him shopping every weekend now. Well, they mostly shop and have fun and he'll just try to keep up, as usual. In fashion, he's not aloud to catch up. If he missed something, he missed something. Too bad if he would have actually liked to wear it, now's the time for the bright new thing.

Sora's not really sure when Destiny Island became a 'fashion forward' place. He wasn't aware that it was.


"Keep your head above the water, Sora, or your world will crash around you."

They don't actually say that. Roxas does.

He's not serious though. He's just making fun.

He doesn't get it. It's so true it's real.


"I do get it." Roxas said once. "I just don't care. I've never paid any mind to those things. They seems ridiculous to me."

Sora likes Roxas. Roxas makes him feel like he belongs somewhere, even if that place is in his own head. He wonders how other people cope if they don't have a voice in their head, one that's separate from themselves. He couldn't imagine talking to himself all the time like he talks to Roxas.

But Sora tries to belong in the real world too. He tries to fit in with the pace Kairi has set when they got back that Riku seems to have gotten used to right away.

Sora envies Riku. Sometimes, Sora wants to be Riku. Other times, he just wishes to be with him. (And sometimes, Sora wishes Riku would just hold him close, breathe in his hair, and tell him everything was going to be alright.)

Mostly, Sora wants to turn back time. He wants to go back to a place where he doesn't always have to be catching up.

He wants to go back to a moment where he isn't struggling against his limits to keep up. (He knows there is no place where he never has to try to keep up but that's okay somehow, because back then he didn't feel like he was going to drown if he failed.)


"Hurry up, Sora, or we'll leave without you!"

"Please don't."

"Work hard, Sora, or we'll move on without you!"

"I will, I will! Don't leave me…"

"Come with us, Sora, have fun! You wouldn't want us to leave without you and make new friends, right?"

"I'll do anything! Just… don't go…!"

"Keep up with the trends, Sora, or we'll be embarrassed to hang with you!"

Without you. Without you. Without you

"I don't want to be without you! Either of you…"


"Keep your head above the water, Sora, or your world will crash around you."

"No! Don't let it! I can't… I won't exist anymore…"

"But Sora, I lost track and fell from my world but I still exist."

"You're… In my head… You're… me… I can't…"

"Can't what, Sora? Can't become me?"

"But you…"

"I had a world too, you know."


"…What happened?"

"Things happened and I fell behind."

"Then I can't! I really can't… let myself…"

"Fall behind? I know."

"Then why are you doing this? I bet this is exactly the kind of thing that happened to you to make you fall!"

"I didn't hear voices in my head; I saw things that no one else could see."

"Whatever, that's not my point! So please… please don't do this to me…"

"I won't. I promise."


"Then what is this?"

"I'm trying to make you realize."


"What? That I'm nothing? Nothing without you, is that it? I wouldn't make it in time if you didn't wake me up every morning. I wouldn't pass my classes if you didn't help me study. I'd be dead on the sidewalk if you didn't steer my body back home when I pass out because I can't hold my liquor. You take note of everything Kairi says during the week so I know what to try on when we go shopping. You memorized Riku's calendar so I can spend his only free day with him every month. I can't live without you, Roxas. Is that what you want to hear? What you want me to realize?"

"No, Sora."

"Then what? For the love of my nonexistent sanity, what?"

"You're miserable, Sora."

"I know I'm pathetic! That's what I said!"

"No, Sora."



"You're sad."

"What… What are you talking about? I'm fine, I'm doing fine, right?"

"You already drowned. In sadness."