Islands Like Glass Towers
By Lynx (of Organization VI)
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts or its characters; they belong to Disney and Squeenix, respectively. Please don't sue. While there are original characters in this story, I don't make any large claims to them. If you'd like to use them, just ask.
Summary: On a world made for children, sometimes the hardest thing to do is be a parent. A story about Sora and Riku's parents on Destiny Islands.
Notes: Man, it has been awhile since I've posted anything here, hasn't it? I must be a real sucker for prequel fics, because here's another one! This one just sort of popped up and wouldn't leave me alone. I'm sort of playing this fic by ear, so we'll see how it goes. I'll also admit, I've always been interested as to what Destiny Islands culture would be like.
Beware of some BBS spoilers! That in mind, also be aware that I'm trying to AVOID any more spoilers. Please DO NOT POST SPOILERS in comments!
Several days later, and the skies were clear of stormclouds and rain. The sun once again washed over the islands, bringing with it gentle ocean breezes and a constant, comforting warmth. The children returned to the play islands after school hours. And Taro returned to work...although now, things felt different.
And coming back from there now, he saw a small congregation of friends out on his doorstep, enjoying the nicer weather before winter hit for good. Emi sat out on the porch with the baby in her arms, talking to Kenta, Hoku and Lana, with little Riku in tow. Taro waved to them, shifting his bag over his shoulder.
"And here's the new father himself," Hoku said, waving back.
"Glad to see the title's caught on so fast," Taro joked back. Emi smiled up at him as he approached, cradling little Sora. Ever since he'd been born, Taro had once again been able to read Emi's expressions...she was still tired, and he felt the heavy hand of post-partum depression over her, but underneath it all he knew she was happy.
"He's really so adorable," Lana cooed...not the first time she'd said so about Sora, and it probably wouldn't be the last. "He's going to grow up to be so cute, I'm sure!"
"One thing at a time...I'm just glad he's here," Emi replied, her expression soft.
It was just as Taro had expected...new arrivals to the Islands always got a lot of attention. It was just strange being on the receiving end of that attention, especially after all they'd been through. A thought occurred to him, and he turned to Hoku. "Say, Hoku...the strange boy, the one they found on the kids' island when Sora was born...I didn't find out what happened to him."
While the question had been asked of Hoku, Kenta answered instead. "Afraid he's gone now."
"Gone?" Taro raised his eyebrows in concern.
"He was okay by the time Doctor Cecil brought him over to the hotel...doctor said he started to improve as soon as Hoku brought him indoors." Kenta shrugged. "Guess he just needed to get in out of the wind."
"But he's not here anymore?" The whole thing seemed a little strange.
Kenta shook his head. "Nope. I let him stay in one of the rooms for the night...he was walking and talking by then. But by morning, he was gone." He nodded out towards the horizon, as if that explained everything. "Visitors never do stay long."
"So strange...didn't say who he was or anything?" Hoku asked.
"I never got his name. Maybe Cecil did. He didn't talk that much anyway...poor kid was still recovering."
"Oh, I hope the boy's okay," Lana sighed, keeping her sights on Riku, who was now wandering around the garden. He toddled up to Emi, and craned his head to look closer at the baby she was holding. Sora sneezed, and Riku backed up a step and looked up to Emi as if she could explain this strange new person.
Emi smiled back at the toddler. "His name is Sora. Can you say hi, Riku?"
Riku looked back down at the little squishy bundle, thought for a moment, then gave back a quiet "Hi."
"Yes, very good job, Riku!" Lana praised her son with all that parental pride that Taro now was beginning to understand. He felt it swell again in his heart as Sora smiled back.
"I guess we'd better get going...great to see that you three are doing well," Hoku said.
"I'm sure! I told you you'd be a natural at this, Emi!" Lana said. She beckoned to her own son. "Come on Riku, it's time to go! We'll come back and visit Emi and Sora tomorrow."
Riku looked disappointed, but trudged back to his mother anyway. "Hi," he called back to Sora, waving as he did. Obviously he hadn't learned how to say goodbye yet. The three walked back out the gate...Hoku gave Taro an encouraging smile. He didn't need to say anything...Taro understood what he meant. There was a quiet comradery, a sense of congratulations, and the reminder of a friendship that had lasted long, but had changed a lot. They were both fathers now. This world had become a different place.
"Guess I'll be off as well," Kenta said as Hoku, Lana and Riku walked back across the street. "Congratulations again, you two."
The couple waved as Kenta also went his own way. Emi stood up carefully, cradling Sora in one arm as she did so. "Welcome home, honey."
He gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Come on, it looks like this little guy wants a nap."
"Sounds good...I want a shower." She followed him back into the house, where Taro found the couch and collapsed onto it. Emi sat beside down beside him, resting her head on his shoulder. Sora fussed a little.
"I'll just...get up in a second," Emi sighed.
"Me too." It seemed they were both more tired than they first realized.
There was a long pause between them, as if they'd been covered with a warm but heavy blanket of exhaustion. The baby continued to fuss for some attention.
"Taro..." Emi hesitated, gazing toward the ceiling in thought. "What do you think it was...that glass tower?"
"I don't know..." Taro sighed. Truth be told, he hoped that she wouldn't dream about it again...that they could perhaps get some relief from those cryptic visions. "Maybe we're not supposed to know."
Emi turned her eyes back down to Sora, stroking his face. He tried to grasp onto her finger with one of his tiny hands. "I can't help feeling like...it's a little like the paopu fruit. Like it's fate."
"Fate?" Taro repeated, his voice quiet.
"Yes. Something big, something that we can only see a part of, but can't really understand how it all fits together." She hugged Sora tighter, letting out a small laugh. "Maybe only he knows it."
Taro felt his stomach coil at the thought of fate...at least at the thought of fate affecting their child. He still seemed so tiny and helpless. "Just...as long as it is like the paopu fruit legend. As long as it brings him happiness."
"He's brought us happiness...I think it'll come back to him too, Taro."
"I hope so," Taro sighed. Emi scooted closer to him until they were touching, leaned over and gave him a solid kiss on the cheek. She then passed the baby over into his arms, carefully so that they both had a good grip.
Emi stood up and stretched, yawning, then turned back to him. "Love you, Taro."
He watched her walk off to the shower, then turned his attention back to the child in his arms. He still felt so tiny and helpless. And yet, he looked up at him with wide, curious eyes, and looking back into them, Taro felt he suddenly understood something. In those eyes, he could see a world of endless possibilities...people, places, experiences, reaching above and beyond the scope of the Islands, to things he couldn't begin to imagine. They were things both wonderful and horrible, exciting and terrifying, but somehow they all belonged to this child. He felt like he was standing on the edge of an island looking out at that endless black ocean, afraid of what lay beyond it, and in Sora's eyes he saw the will to go beyond that ocean and past the horizon. It made him feel like the tiny and helpless one.
Maybe it's like fate...
He hugged the newborn close to him, as if having his son as close as possible would help him to understand, help him not to be afraid. This was their child, their son, and as much as he wanted to protect him from everything unknown, everything distant on the horizon, a part of his heart deep inside him knew he couldn't.
He felt tears sting at his eyes as Sora gave small sounds...tears of relief, of fear, but mostly of love. There was only one thing he could ask of their son.
"Please...make my world bigger."
And that's the end of this fic! Of course, I wanted to give a huge thank you to everyone that's read and reviewed! Your comments totally make my day, and I hope you enjoyed it! Maybe I'll do something with Taro and Emi and others in the future, but for now, this story is done.