Author's Note: Just a relatively light-hearted fic about misunderstandings and second chances.
The song this chapter was inspired by is 'Against All Odds', by The Postal Service.
Slight warning: some language.
Against All Odds
So take a look at me now
—there's just an empty space—
There's nothing left here to remind me
—just the memory of your face—
So take a look at me now
—there's just an empty space—
You coming back to me is against the odds
and that's what I've got to face.
Feeling nostalgic, Sora stood at the water's edge, the waves brushing his bare feet in the evening sun, and stared out to the horizon. He would do this often in the past, searching the horizon for something, yearning for adventure and enlightenment, looking for a meaning in life. But even now, he stood there feeling the same as he had then - incomplete.
It wasn't as though he was dissatisfied in his life, it'd been rather fulfilling. Sure, he could've done better at school, and sometimes money had been tight, but he figured he had everything anyone really needed in life; immaterial things: a loving wife, a great kid, a good brother…
His best friend.
He'd hit a dead end in life, and as the sunset cast hues of pink, purple and orange in the sky he felt decidedly worn. He took a leisurely stroll down the beach, and looked towards Riku's majestic house, surprised to notice that, just beyond those translucent white curtains, Riku was looking back at him. Sora made a point of masking the sadness on his face, abruptly turning away from Riku's forlorn gaze. Looking at this 'new' Riku right now would only prove to dampen his mood further.
Now facing the ocean, Sora noticed something a short distance away glittering on the surface of the water, he watched with a sort of rapt fascination as it bobbed up and down a few times, the gentle waves pushing it towards the shore, in his direction. He'd never been a patient person, so rather than wait for it to drift ashore he waded into the water and retrieved it. Sora smiled at the plain glass bottle in his palm, it had accumulated a lot of mud and sand on it from the seabed. As children, they had been told that if you sent a bottled wish off and it returned to you, it meant that your wish had been granted.
He imagined that one of the local children had it sent off; it was all very nostalgic, because he and Kairi used to do the same as a youngsters.
Riku hadn't though.
He'd said it was 'kid's stuff'.
All his life Sora had lived to please other people and his outlook on life was simple.
Black and white.
Good and bad.
It included no shades of grey.
He had the ability to just follow his heart, to live in the present with no fears for the future. If something didn't agree with his moral, idealistic code Sora would stop at nothing to correct it (even if it didn't always agree with other people's boundaries). It was this trait that had defined Sora, granting him a unique selflessness completely free of pretension.
All his life Sora had lived to please other people. But it had always come at a cost.
Most recently? His latest job.
It was all rather embarrassing, this current situation, but he knew that sometimes you had to put your pride aside and suck it up.
So here he was on the threshold of Riku's ostentatious home, again. Sora was baffled as to why Riku needed such large accommodation, it wasn't as though he lived with anyone and by nature Riku wasn't particularly materialistic. In fact, the reason why Riku chose to be a bachelor escaped him, since he'd always been fairly popular.
Riku greeted him at the doorstep; Sora felt his trademark sheepish grin find a way to his face as his hand nervously scratched at the back of his neck.
"So, Kairi called you, huh?"
"Looks like it."
"Just so you know it wasn't my fault this time - I'll pay you back every penny as soon as I get a new job, I promise!"
Riku let out a heavy sigh. "You don't have to pay me back, Sora, you never had to." The words were like an old friend to Riku now, familiar with use over the years. He didn't know why he bothered saying them anymore, Sora had never, would never, heed them. "You can't fight every injustice in this world, no matter how badly you want to."
"Are you calling me a martyr?" Sora asked blithely, chuckling for the first time at the idea.
Riku's eyes became distant even though they were gazing directly at Sora. "Being a martyr is nothing to boast about. It'll be a lonely road ahead of you if that's the route you take."
"Do you know this from personal experience?" Sora asked curiously.
"I know enough."
Riku's house wasn't very much like Sora's, because that's exactly what it was – a house, not a home. It was a large, fancy house on the furthest outskirts of the Islands with a great view of the beach and small town below. People looking at it from outside would always feel envious of its beauty, but the inside always made you feel distinctly uncomfortable. The abundance of unused rooms, which were clean to the point of neurosis, made the house particularly devoid of human life. Sora would try to spend as much time as possible visiting, because he hated the thought of Riku being stuck in suffocating silence, but sometimes he felt it wasn't enough.
Sora didn't understand where it had all gone wrong for Riku, all he knew was that he had entered a premature mid-life crisis that seemed determined to last the rest of his life. While, Riku had always been quiet he had never been anti-social, but now he seemed to bend over backwards to avoid company; and as hard as he tried, he couldn't be there for Riku all the time. Riku wouldn't let him help with whatever personal crisis he was going through, didn't trust him to help.
And the knowledge killed him.
It was awkward, sitting with Riku in complete silence, too nervous to say anything because he just knew that he would brush him off wordlessly. This Riku was a Riku who never joked, or insulted, or sparred. Just sulked around, never saying anything. Part of him wanted to throttle Riku—
...but even more so, he wanted to see his eyes full of life again.
"Don't you ever want to open up to anyone?"
"I do." Riku answered off-hand. Sora gaped, put off by the answer. He hadn't expected a response at at all. "I open to many people through my writing. Sometimes writing is easier than talking. Secrets and fears seem safer on paper, and I have plenty of each..."
Riku was a best-selling author, but Sora had never really liked his books, he felt his friend wasted his talent on those tales of unrequited love and tragedy. The old Riku, the Riku he knew, would smirk and mock him playfully, whenever Sora had mentioned this. This 'new' Riku, however, with his doormat personality would respond 'Life doesn't end up sunshine and rainbows for everyone' or something equally bitter.
"Look, Riku, I don't…." He hesitated. "You're not alone - I don't want you to feel alone."
Sora shook his head vaguely, not knowing what to say.
"I… just don't."
Riku flicked several loose strands of hair from his eyes and stared at Sora almost… resentfully. "Is this another one of your righteous crusades? Aren't we a little old for this?"
Sora bit the side of his lip and let his eyes wander across Riku's face, studying the morose expression he found there. Riku had led him into the study, where he sat at his expensive mahogany desk searching for his cheque book. Sora idly noted how similar he looked to his father all these years down the line. The same stern expression and no nonsense attitude made him almost an exact replica of Sephiroth.
He wondered how Riku would feel if he told him that.
Riku laced his fingers, resting his forehead on them. "...Why…?" It was only one word, and yet it summed up all that he wanted out of a question, all that he had to ask of the situation he was in. Why this? Why here, why now? Why me? What had he ever done to deserve this life? Why? Why, why, why…?
He stared at Sora.
Sora thought about for a few seconds. He'd never really considered the reasons for his reckless actions, his motivation to make others happy, he just did what he thought was right, and no matter the cost it was always worth it. "I don't know. Maybe because… I want to fight against what people say can't be fought against? Maybe because I think that it's never too late to get what you want, to be happy."
Riku looked up. His eyes were dark. Cold. Brooding. "Even now you're so naïve, even now, after all this time, you're so blind. You understand nothing!" It was a cruel statement. Mocking. Riku's words were barbed, but it wasn't entirely clear to Sora if the hate in them was directed at him or—
"I know enough," Sora responded confidently, returning Riku's earlier words, "I would know more if you let me. I could understand more, if you let me."
Riku's eyes flickered downward for a moment, but lifted his gaze almost instantly, expression wiped clean until all that remained was an opaque, meticulous ice. To Sora, this was so much worse than yelling. At least with a choleric reaction, the person more or less expresses that you are worthy to receive their honest feelings and thoughts. However, this cool, unfriendly gaze, was rather something bestowed upon one considered completely worthless, or someone so unspeakably different that you could hardly believe you were both human. When Riku looked at him this way, Sora felt a chasm of separation between them.
"More?" Riku walked forward, the muscles in his face seeming more taut than usual, as if he was straining to keep his distaste in line with his stoic mannerisms. His search for the chequebook was long forgotten. "What more do you want to know?"
"Whatever you'll let me. What's so wrong with that? We're friends. Why do you open up through books, to thousands of strangers, and not your best friend? Why can't I support you like that?" Sora besieged, eyes shifting imploringly, desperate for Riku to understand. It hurt to say the words and bare himself to such extent when Riku wasn't giving an inch. He felt he had to retain some dignity, he didn't think it was fair to tell Riku how he felt, to leave such a vulnerable opening, so he flashed a smile, hoping that it didn't look as forced as it felt.
Riku glanced at Sora from the corners of glaring eyes and there it was. He had that stupid grin on his face, just like always. What reason did he have to smile? Any normal human being would've been offended by such open hostility. But then... Sora wasn't normal. He had always been different. It was that optimism, that tangible energy that surrounded him, that iron will to succeed despite all odds...
It was all in that smile of his.
—and to have him so close and yet so far...
Riku sighed contemptuously and turned away from Sora, but not before giving the brunet a look he could not interpret. Sora watched him for a while longer, trying to read him.
Damn it…what was that supposed to have meant?
"Very well, have it your way." Riku's voice called his attention, it surprised him, with the extent of its sullenness, its tired air. "I remember that once a friend told me that that you can never lose by loving, only by holding back..." He was taking the key off of the chain around his neck. He used it to open a drawer on the other side of the desk, pulling out a thick, worn-looking book. A book hidden could only be one thing.
Was that a diary?
"I really… wish I'd listened, back then..." He placed the book in Sora's hands. "This is a journal. This one book covers our time in highschool. If you really want to know more – understand - read it, make your conclusions, and then come back here. But remember, whatever you discover, you asked for this." The words were pronounced slowly, baring a dark, almost foreboding weight.
The brunet looked at Riku again with a question in his eyes.
I don't know why you've turned this into a battle but…
"I'm not giving up, and I'm not backing down."
…I can't let you win.
It felt good to say those words, and even better to see Riku drop his standard frown, surprise and confusion knotting his brows together. Sora nearly smiled at the familiar expression, until it disappeared, taking his smile with it.
They stared at one another. It was weird to have come to this one spot of motionlessness, this one moment of mutual silence after so much brooding and so many arguments, even if they were only waged with quiet passive-aggressive movements.
Riku's eyes clouded. He was entirely unreadable now. "You act as if you're certain you can. I highly doubt that."
Sora didn't flinch in the least. "I know. Which is exactly why I have to do it."
I have to prove you wrong just like I prove everyone else wrong.
No matter what.
Well that was a disaster. Sora thought bitterly. I want... compensation. I want reparations! I want the Rhineland! It's going to be 1919 all over again. Fuck the inevitable backlash.
When he finally reached his home Sora wasn't at all surprised to find his twin sat at his coffee table, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
"Fired again, Sora? Maybe it's the working world's way of telling you to retire!"
"Roxas... can I ask why it is that you show up at the most inopportune moments of my life?" Other than to gloat?
Roxas' smile got even wider, rivalling the sort Sora usually sported. "Because I'm just bursting with brotherly affection and I'm here to offer my shoulder for you to cry on, should you need one."
Sadist. "I appreciate the sentiment, laced with sarcasm as it is. How did you find out so soon, anyway?"
"Your wife. Kairi told me the story of how she was forced to phone Riku on your stubborn behalf to ask for money to pay for the damages you caused, and from whom you obviously just got back from crawling to with your tail between your legs." His eyes watered with mirth as he laughed, obviously enjoying his brother's misfortune, "Well, that and the fact that it was broadcast on the local news in Twilight Town." Sora paled at that.
Twilight Town wasn't even in the same county.
Oh God, had this been broadcast nationally? Would he ever get a job again? Had Riku seen it? Would he ever get his dignity back?
Had Riku seen it?
As Sora's mind ran through the implications Roxas' laughter had died down and after demanding Sora serve him coffee began to make small talk.
"Honestly, where does Riku find the strength to put up with you?"
Sora went about the task of making himself and his guest a cup of coffee; maneuvering about the cramped kitchen, he answered with a distracted: "Kairi has always had a way with Riku. He'll do anything for her, even spare this money for the likes of me."
Roxas' expression morphed into what Sora interpreted as disbelief.
"Sora, you're kidding me, right?"
Sora's confused gaze met his brother's skeptical eyes. "What do I have to kid about, Roxas?"
His response caused Roxas to put his head in his hands, emitting a low groan. Sora heard him mutter but couldn't distinguish the words - his hearing wasn't what it used to be.
"Has anyone ever told you how ridiculously naïve you are? I just mean stop showing how obsessed you are with him."
Sora frowned. "I'm not obsessed."
"I just think you should let him come to you for a change." Roxas continued smoothly. Then he noticed the book he carried and inquired. Sora explained, relaying the conversation he'd had with Riku.
"The book is from highschool, you say?" Sora confirmed, he didn't understand the significance of highschool in Riku's self-induced isolation but the thoughtful tone in which Roxas had asked implied his brother did.
"Well, it isn't really my place to tell," Roxas had replied in response to Sora's wheedling, "But it's not a great secret that Riku spent all of highschool mooning over someone." He took a wise sip of coffee. "He never did man up enough to confess, it's quite pathetic, really."
"What?" Sora screeched dramatically, "Why didn't I know about this?"
(—even now, after all this time, you're so blind—)
"You're blind to things that aren't spelt out to you, it's hardly surprising."
So he was blind, huh? Well he'd show Roxas. He'd figure it all by himself, he didn't need to ask him.
(I open to many people through my writing)
(—tales of unrequited love)
(This one book covers our time in highschool)
The metaphorical light bulb lit up in Sora's head.
Riku was suffering a lost love from highschool!
It was a logical conclusion, he rationalised, in the past Riku could cover it up with a string of short-term love affairs (after all, there had been many); now his life had slowed down and he was somewhat past his prime, he had begun to seek security, emotional stability. He had begun mourning his one true love and what could have been.
Sora felt the urge to wipe a tear of compassion from his eye - it was so beautiful, so poetic!
Sora felt a renewed vigour. He could help with this! He could bring the old Riku – his Riku – back! All he required was information, and he knew the perfect source.
Roxas watched, slightly disturbed, as his brother turned to him and chortled, rubbing his hands together like a villain from an old black and white movie. He knew that face, and it usually meant trouble - he was concocting one of those 'save the world' schemes, again. It was time for preventative measures before things got out of hand. Honestly, you'd think he'd have grown up at least a little, but no. But maybe his childishness was what kept him so youthful - Sora was ridiculously young-looking for his age.
"I'm not telling you who, before you ask, because it's not any of my business, or your business for that matter. Riku is a grown man, let him deal with his own problems."
So Roxas was going to be all secretive about it, eh?
Time to bring out the big guns.
Initiate the puppy dog eyes.
"I said no."
Sora's expression inched into a scowl. He didn't get what was so hush-hush about it.
Sora couldn't sleep that night, he tossed and he turned, couldn't stop brooding.
He couldn't —wouldn't!— give up on Riku. He'd get his friend back to his old self. He'd fix this. He'd fix him.
But still, sometimes…
(You can't fight every injustice in this world, no matter how badly you want to)
He just... wished things could be like they were before.
He eventually gave up on sleeping, he knew that while his mind was still active he wouldn't be able to settle, so the only thing left was to stay up until he entered that stage of mind numbing sleep deprivation. The problem was getting there, because Sora's attention span was astonishingly short, making him a bit of a challenge to occupy.
As he fumbled his way downstairs he remembered the bottle he had picked up that morning.
He ran a basin of hot, bubbly water and carefully lowered the fragile bottle into it. Sora imagined his old mind was playing tricks on him when the bottle began to get progressively hotter, leaving his palms with an unpleasant tingle, even as the water became less than luke warm.
No, he definitely wasn't imagining it.
Sora released the bottle with a startled hiss as it became unbearably hot, too hot to hold. But it had been too late - the heat from the bottle had transferred into his palms, the tingle erupted into a scolding surge of heat, spreading outwards, consuming his body, pooling around his insides.
His vision blurred as the heat splayed along his body, a strange frission that had nothing to do with old age knocked along his spine. Breathing became nothing but a rush of sound.
I'm so hot… I can't breathe…
Sora leaned against the counter behind him, trying to catch his breath, so flushed with heat his body felt numb.
The sensation faded, after what seemed like an eternity, dying down to a dull ache, Sora spent a few minutes leaning on the counter trying to catch his balance, too occupied to notice the eerie grey smoke that had infiltrated the kitchen.
"Sorry I'm late, traffic was a BITCH!"
The quiet of the room teetered on the edge and shattered. Sora released a high-pitched and flat-out out unmanly scream at the unexpected voice, swung in the direction of the intruder, but found that the room was just as empty as before.
"H-Hello?" He questioned quietly, gazing into the profound dark of his kitchen. Anxiously, he waited a couple of seconds with his fingers nestled tightly in his sweating palms. When no reply emerged, he sighed, calmed and prepared to have a little laugh at his own stupidity.
On instinct his hands flew up to shield his face from an imaginary onslaught.
"Ahhh! PLEASE DON'T CHOP ME!"
Sora heard a faint, impish snickering; he lowered his hands to see red hair and preternatural green irises that stood out in the contrast to the darkness of the now smokey room. A black cloak garbed a beanpole of a body, and despite the situation Sora felt the urge to offer him something to eat. The intruder looked no older than 18 - a boy, a kid caught mid-prank.
"Y-you think this is funny, young man?"
"Not at all!" the intruder denied, waving his hands in front of him as if it would authenticate his denial - hadn't he been laughing just a second ago? Of course he'd found it funny! "I wasn't laughin' at you. It was, uh, I just had a really funny thought right then!"
Sora scowled. The excuse sounded stupid even to his ears.
The intruder took a step forward, and from the pre-dawn light that poured through the partially drawn curtains Sora could make out his face. It was a young face; with a long, aristocratic nose, thin lips and high cheekbones that had tear drop markings on them, beneath each eye. It would've been a pleasant face if not for the unnaturally incandescent green eyes and pointed teeth.
After enduring a few minutes of Sora gaping open-mouthed at him, the red-haired boy pulled a piece of paper out of thin air in a puff of smoke and read it briefly.
"So, you got my Lamp?" The stranger prompted with an air of impatience.
Sora swore he felt his heart stop. He could comprehend and handle other situations, but this?
What even was 'this'?
Sora's mouth was dry from gaping, he swallowed, working moisture into his mouth to confront…whatever was stood in his kitchen.
"What – who – are you?"
The addressed cocked his head to the side and smirked.
"How 'bout this…I answer a question and then you answer a question. It allows both of us to get to know each other in a fair and balanced manner, which is all well and good cuz we'll be workin' together for a while." Sora opened his mouth to speak but the person? cut over him sharply, "Before you start pesterin' me with a limitless amount of questions, know two things. One: I will only answer what I choose to answer and two: you need to understand somethin' important."
"I will not tell you more than what you honestly need to know."
"What do you mean…?"Sora trailed off, his tongue no longer pliable enough to construct sentences. He scooted back, using the space as a sort of invisible wall of protection between him and this foreigner.
Looking endlessly pleased, the eccentric youth began. "I am a Djinn, specifically an Efreet, or Ifrit, or however you people choose to pronounce it these days. To make it crystal clear as for why I'm here, well, I'm your qareen. Ok, your turn: where's my Lamp?" The 'Djinn' said, tapping his foot impatiently as if Sora had the slightest clue what he was talking about.
Sora remained shock still; mystified, as though submerged in a pool so foggy that there was no amount of help that could yank him out again.
The other pinched at the bridge of his nose, a portrait of exasperation, "Ah Jeez, why do I always get stuck with the stupid ones? Y'know, the thing that summoned me here? – when you rubbed it it'd probably get real hot."
Sora's eyes widened. "You mean the bottle?"
The Djinn hissed, as though greatly offended and grit through clenched teeth, "It's a Lamp!"
Sora hurriedly retrieved the lamp from the sink and tried to pawn it off on the Djinn, hoping to appease it so it would leave. Despite all it's whining the strange creature refused to so much as look at it until he'd dried it thoroughly, and even when it was sufficiently dry it refused to take it off his hands.
"Nuh-uh, Gramps, that belongs to you now, as…" there was a great amount of flourishing gestures to itself, "… do I."
Now this was just plain bizarre and Sora was terribly lost. It was time for a little diplomacy.
"I'm… a little confused, exactly what is a qareen?"
The odd youth seemed genuinely shocked at this.
"Don't you know anythin' about Djinn?" He shook his head in a flurry of blazing red hair, astonished. "What are they teachin' kids at school, these days?"
Sora wanted to point out that he'd not been to school in a very long time.
"We have loadsa names," The Djinn seemed to be choosing the most appropriate one as he mulled over them, "Does the word 'genie' mean anythin' to you?" At Sora's nod he continued, "Simply put, being a qareen just means I'm your own personal genie." It spread its long, thin arms out dramatically, "Here to grant your heart's desire!"
"How do I know you're the real deal? You don't even look like a genie."
"And exactly what is a genie supposed to look like, oh enlightened one?"
"Well, you know, blue skin, twirly beard, Arabic clothing, ghost bottom half…"
"Oh, I'm sorry, was materialisin' out of thin air not enough 'proof' for you?"
"You're a sucky host, you know that? Not even offerin' a guy a seat." The Djinn evaporated in a cloud of smoke, and Sora watched in amazement as it drifted lazily across the kitchen and into the dining room where reconstructed figure of the Djinn sat on the chair. He was thrumming a bit.
"So? Time's a-wastin'. You ready to go back to highschool to save your precious Riku yet?"
Sora's eyes widened. "How do you know about Riku?"
The Djinn rolled his eyes, "Are you really this much of an idiot? I'm your qareen, I know a lot about you, it's my job. I know about Riku, and I know about your desire to help Riku, your wish - I'm here to grant it." He clicked his fingers and that paper re-materialised and floated idly in the air between them.
"Look, I've got it written right here: you specifically wished that things could…" the Djinn formed quotation marks with his fingers, "…'be like they used to be.'"
"But I only thought it!" And yet the words still stood in front of him on that levitating piece of paper in black and white. It was almost as if they were mocking him.
"Still counts, guy."
Wait a minute...
Why on Earth was he hesitating?
This was the chance he'd been waiting for, a chance to set things right, a chance to find Riku true, lasting happiness and save him from the fate of a lonely, bitter old man!
It wasn't like he was leaving anything behind. Well sure, technically he'd be leaving his family and the life he'd built since highschool but it wasn't like he couldn't build them again, make the same wonderful choices that led to his current life, relive all his best memories. Maybe he could make a few choices that would improve his life along the way.
If he went back to highschool he'd get to see his parents again, he'd be young again, Riku would be happy and the one that he knew, and he would keep him that way.
To Sora, it seemed like a win-win situation.
"Ok, I'm ready."
His qareen smiled, revealing those sharp, inhuman teeth. "A man of action, I respect that. Ok Gramps, it's all pretty simple. You can take one inanimate object with you - choose wisely. Don't even bother tryin' to hide things in socks, shoes or underpants - believe me when I say it's in your best interest to take only one item. With health and safety measures out of the way, when you're all set jus' hold the lamp and let me do all the hard work."
Sora considered what inanimate object he should take. He didn't have anything of particular sentimental value that he hadn't had back then, he'd have to take something useful, something that contained knowledge that he didn't have back then, aside from the wit (ha!) and perception (ha!) that a longer life had bestowed him.
The Djinn seemed particularly amused at his choice.
"Is that a diary? A bit girly, if you ask me."
"So you're really, truly, without a doubt, unquestionably, undoubtedly, positively, assuredly, indubitably ready?"
"Is this going to take long? I don't want Kairi waking up in the middle of this- "
"What do you take me for, some kind of amateur? I'm an Ifrit." He said this like it would actually mean something to Sora.
"Ok, here we go. Remember, Gramps: do not let go of the Lamp."
The Lamp was getting hot and Sora could already feel the unpleasant tingling from where it made contact with his skin. He tried to focus on luminous green eyes as the heat travelled from the lamp to his body, scorching, burning to his very core. Everything was heavy and warm and he was distinctly aware of the warmth pulsing just behind his ears.
It was getting harder to focus, he felt like a floating, disembodied entity.
Sora's last second glimpse of the world is sideways, sliding as he falls, he's numb, he's floating, down and up and apart, even to the last moment where the sky goes white.
Sora awoke that morning in an unfamiliar (and yet, strangely familiar) room. It was a moderate sized room, with a single bed (where he currently lay) which would have had an wide, open floor space had it not been covered by an ocean of clothes. The owner's possessions had been thrown haphazardly in various parts of the room, and while it could never been called neat, it gave one the impression of organisation, albeit in a disorganised kind of way.
The walls were plastered with posters of bands; Sora idly thought that they were in good taste, reflecting what was once his own favourite bands.
Sora shuffled into a sitting position and stretched sleepily, surprised when he didn't feel the routine pop between his old shoulderblades.
He left the room, groggily ramming himself into the threshold. The first sight that met him was the adjacent doorway identical to the one he stood in now, except for the sheets of paper stuck to it.
The paper on the door had 'Keep Out' written on it in a flowing, elegant script.
Under, someone had scrawled 'Why?' in red marker.
An arrow in black marker connected the 'Why' to some words further down the paper: "I mean it, Sora."
In red marker underneath that: "Sora? Who said Sora wrote this? And what are you doing in there?"
In black beneath that, in words tall enough to cover what was left of the paper: "None of your business and keep out, SORA."
Someone had taped an extra sheet of paper to the first and filled it with red scrawl: "Or what, you'll shoot me? Why won't you tell us what you're doing in there, Roxy? (Man, your security is good though.)"
The black marker had had no room to answer on the extra piece of paper and its dignity would not accept having to tape on an additional sheet as well, so it had simply removed the 'Or what,' and the first '?' from the red marker's previous sentences, underlined the result, and left it at that.
Fully awake now, Sora made a mad dash for the bathroom to confirm his suspicions and bravely faced the mirror.
Wide, cerulean blue eyes stared back at him, set in a heart-shaped face with a small nose and full mouth. He watched half-fascinated, half-horrified, as the boy in the mirror imitated him, pulling on thick, messy brown locks of hair. His heart leap to his throat.
That was... that boy was...
He winced after a particularly hard pull. So did the boy.
That was him!
Someone outside drowsily tried to open the door, Sora jumped when a violent kick shook the frame.
"Sora! Get the hell out of the bathroom!"
A bitching Roxas?
He was really back.
No prizes for guessing:
1) Who Riku was (is?) in love with.
2) Who the Genie is.