It had been days since Riku and Sora talked. Lately, whenever Sora caught a glimpse of the white haired boy, he promptly turned and headed the opposite direction that Sora was going.
Sora had tried to make amends without prevail, and Riku insisted that they pretend like neither one existed. And, finally feeling like it was worthless trying to convince Riku to become his friend, Sora finally gave up on trying to force Riku into being kind to him. He would just have to make that decision himself.
Roxas was a lost hope as well. Sora saw him constantly with Axel, and the brunette assumed his best friends had likely already moved on.
Today was a sunny Tuesday morning, similar to all the days of the week. It was hot and slightly humid but the small winds that rolled by occasionally made it comfortable. Sora walked up to his locker, pulling at his tie so it would stop limiting the amount of breath he could take in. The lock clicked with every turn, until finally it creaked open.
Sora sighed, took out his Physics book, and promptly locked the door once more. He had really been under the weather lately, and people had started to notice. Sora turned around quickly and half screamed when he saw Kairi standing inches away from him. Sora let out a deep breath, relieved, and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Jesus, Kairi…don't sneak up on me like that!" The red haired girl smiled up at him, her hands clasped in front of her face.
"Sorry! Hey, I was wondering if you wanted to go get some ice cream, maybe?" Sora smiled at Kairi, not really knowing how to respond. He was really not in the mood, but then again he knew it wasn't healthy to stay in this state of depression forever.
"Hey, by the way, do you know what's up with Roxas? I've seen him hanging out with that asshole Axel a lot more than usual…" Sora looked up at Kairi, the pain of hearing his ex-best friend's name showing clearly in his eyes. Kairi furrowed her eyebrows in regret, having brought up the subject.
"I know you two had a fight…what even happened? Do you want to talk about it?" Sora shook his head. If anything, he wanted to forget it even happened.
"Alright…just know if you want to talk about it, I'm here, okay?"
Sora followed behind Kairi to the local ice cream store located only a couple of blocks away from his high school. The view from the store was fantastic, they could see the small island kids usually went to play on all the way from there. Sora ordered what he usually got, sea-salt ice cream, while Kairi opted for a sweeter strawberry kiwi blast. They sat down in one of the tables on the inside of the ice cream store, thinking their ice cream wouldn't last long in the heat.
"So…" Kairi muttered, probably thinking of a way to break the ice.
"Thanks for the ice cream." Sora smiled at her and shook his head.
"No problem, my treat." Sora said. Kairi licked her ice cream once more, staring outside of the windows. The waves crashed in a way that they could hear even though they were considerably far away from them.
"Do you know about the legend of the paopu fruit?"
"Yeah…well, sort of, only a few things." Kairi turned to look at Sora, her eyes turning a lighter shade with the sun's rays.
"They say that if you share it with someone else, your paths will always be connected. Your destinies will be intertwined for the rest of your lives.. In fact, that's why they call this group of islands Destiny Islands. It's because people hope that once they visit here and share that fruit with that special person, their destinies will be linked forever."
Sora stared at her for a moment, analyzing Kairi's words. Riku would have probably thought something like that was complete bullshit, but Sora would love to believe that it was true. Imagine, a fruit that will connect you with that one person you love forever. It was completely sappy, but at the same time, Sora thought it was amazingly beautiful.
"Do you have someone you want to share that fruit with?" Sora turned red at the question. Of course-well, sort of. Maybe. Not really.
"No." He answered, happy in his tone but obviously tired in his eyes.
"Oh…" Kairi's words trailed off, slightly disappointed for some odd reason. Sora felt the sea-salt ice cream melt and trickle down his hand.
"Do you?" Sora asked.
"No, but I'd like to." Kairi snapped a piece off of her waffle cone with her teeth. Sora smiled at her, the air suddenly tense once more.
"I'm sure we'll find that one special person one day…they might be right beside you for all you know, but you just don't notice. Love is just sort of weird like that." Kairi nodded.
"That's what scares me the most. Imagine finding out who you're in love with, who you're meant to be with, but just moments too late."
Sora shook his head.
"If it's meant to be, it'll happen. Paopu fruit or not." Kairi smiled.
"One can only hope."
"Woah, Riku, pick up the slack! What's wrong with you bro, you feelin' a little out of it?" Riku gave an angry look at Tidus, who smirked at him and patted him on the back. Lately he was complete shit when it came to blitzball, and everyone was noticing. Of course they would, he was one of the best players, aside from Tidus.
"Riku, what the hell is wrong with you?" Riku took off his wet suit, the air conditioning piercing tiny needles on his skin. He wrapped a white towel tightly around his waist.
"I'm fine." Was all he said. Axel rolled his eyes.
"Does it have to do with him? That Sora kid?" Riku shook his head.
"No, if anything I'm glad that brat stopped bothering me." Axel snorted.
"Boy, you are dumb with a capital D. Why can't you just admit it, you have a thing for the kid!" The silver haired boy walked slowly towards the showers, and hung his towel on a rack. The hot water pounded his chest, and Axel took the shower next to him. The redhead's hair clung to his face, and he pushed it out the way with long fingers.
"I am not interested in him. In fact, I'm not even interested in guys." Axel turned to look at Riku, and let out a loud chuckle that echoed around the shower room.
"You have got to be shitting me, really? Come on Riku, I know you better than that. Remember that one time, with Leon-"
"Could you shut up? Why the hell do you want me to go out with him anyhow? Why don't you date him?"
"Because that's not part of my plan." Axel grinned, his eyes closed shut as he craned his neck up towards the water. Riku raised an eyebrow. He knew Axel was up to no good.
"You know that Roxas kid?"
"Yes, the blond." Riku grabbed some soap and rubbed it on his chest. Axel pressed his hands against the wall in front of him, letting the water run down his back.
"Well, I've got my eyes on him. I've already taken Sora out of the picture, but I need you to keep him out of the picture…permanently." Riku rolled his eyes, suddenly angry.
"Why the hell do you have to be so God damn cynical all the time? You can't even let them be friends because you've got a little crush on him?" Riku reached for the knob to turn off the shower, and then covered himself with his white towel once more. Axel did the same.
"You know how I am. It's either mine or no one's, got it memorized?" The red head followed closely behind Riku, his hair sprouting like a plant back to its original gravity defying state. Riku took off his towel and dried his hair, and then stuffed it inside of his bag. He pulled out his boxers and a pair of blue shorts and a red shirt and slipped them on.
"If you're worried about Sora being more than friends with Roxas, don't be."
"Oh really? And why do you say that?"
Riku didn't offer an answer, and simply picked up his duffel bag and headed out towards the student parking lot.
"Riku, you're taking the college entrance exams today, right?"
Sora looked up from his eggs to look at Kadaj. Riku nodded.
"D.I. Tech, right? Best college on the Islands." Loz tried to put in the forkful of meat in his mouth but instead missed and stabbed his cheek with his fork. Sora suppressed a laugh.
"Sora, where will you be attending next year?" Sephiroth asked. Sora thought about it for a moment.
"Well…I was thinking of maybe going to D.I Tech too." The man smiled.
"Riku will be applying for one of the colleges on the mainland, called Garden University. It's one of the best colleges in the world. He'll be studying to take over my business." Sora nodded, taking in the information. Of course Riku would go somewhere like that, his whole life he was smarter than everyone else. He would easily make it into the college, no doubt about it. And even then, Sora felt sad to hear Riku would be leaving and moving so far away.
"What college do Leon and Cloud attend, again?" Yazoo asked, sipping at his coffee.
"D.I. Tech." Riku replied. Something was off in his voice.
"Riku, you feelin' okay bro? Don't sound so hot."
"My head…it hurts. I think I'm coming down with a cold or something." Riku rubbed his temples, his eyes closing to try and help the pain.
"Here, let me give you something…" Yazoo began to run over to the kitchen, but then Sora stopped him.
"I have some stuff for the cold. It's in my backpack. I get sick easily so…" Sora fished out a light blue box of medicine from his bag, and then walked over and handed it to Riku. Riku ripped it from his hands and opened the box, popped one of the pills out of the silver foil covering, and then swallowed it down.
"I hope that medication won't make Riku drowsy." Kadaj commented casually. Sora's eyes widened, and Riku stared at Sora in disbelief.
"Don't tell me…"
Sora read the back of the box quickly, trying to find if one of the side effects was drowsiness. Age limits, don't take more than two, temporarily relieves common cold symptoms...
Do not operate heavy machinery or drive after taking this pill.
"Shit." Sora whined the word under his breath, and then looked up at Riku who was already furious.
"Stupid ass, I'm taking a test today! Now what am I supposed to do, I'll be passing out!" Riku stood up, screaming at Sora. The brunette winced.
"Riku, calm down! Don't be so rude, I've never seen you like this!" Sephiroth demanded, looking up from his paper. Riku stared at his father, then back at Sora. He took a deep breath and then picked up his school bag, painfully annoyed.
"I'll be going, now." Riku hissed, and began to walk towards the garage. Sora finally snapped back into reality and followed behind Riku, worried.
"I'll drive you to the pier, okay? I'm worried you won't make it there safe." Riku rolled his eyes.
"I can make it on my own without your help." His father stood up and walked over to Riku, who angrily stared down at him.
"Sora will be driving you, and that's that."
Riku glared at his dad for a moment, then continued walking to the garage, Sora following closely behind.
"The last time I saw Riku like that was when Yazoo accidentally let his pet bird free." Kadaj commented, and Loz nodded.
"Yeah, it's weird…that kid usually never loses his cool." Yazoo replied, then continued reading his book. Riku was acting weird ever since he came into the picture, and Yazoo knew exactly why.
"Don't worry, I know how to drive stick." Sora stuck the car key inside of the silver Bougatti Veyron, and the engine quietly rumbled to life. Sora had never really driven a car, but he wasn't about to tell Riku that.
"If you crash this car, you better die along with it." Riku said angrily, and Sora nodded. If the crash didn't kill him, Riku sure as hell would.
Sora managed to pull out of the garage with no real problem, and then began the slow drive towards the pier across town. It would take thirty minutes at the most, but he knew the ride would seem twice as long because he was with Riku. Sora turned to the white haired boy for a moment, and then back at the road.
"So, why are you applying to Garden U? Axel and Demyx are going to D.I. Tech like everyone else…it really isn't a bad school…"
Sora's words trailed off as he realized Riku was not really paying attention to him. Sora sighed.
"What do you want to be when you grow up, Riku?"
The boy rolled his eyes, as if amused by the question.
"It's not what I want to be, it's what I'm supposed to be." Sora furrowed his eyebrows, confused.
"Usually those are the same thing, aren't they? You want to be a singer, you're supposed to be a singer. You want to be a doctor, you're supposed to be a doctor."
"Not for me." Riku said, and Sora could hear the annoyance in his voice. Sora hesitated pushing his luck and asking something more, but he shook his head and decided he should.
"Why is that?"
"Because," Riku began, then sighed. He glanced outside his window, staring at nothing in particular. "Ever since I was born, my father has known exactly what he wants me to be. I was the one chosen to be the heir of his company, so that's what I'll be."
"You could always tell him you don't want to be…whatever it is your dad does." Riku laughed loudly.
"Have you met my father? Oh, no, you haven't. You've met what he pretends to be. He won't take no for an answer anymore. He took it from my three brothers, and I'm his last resort. I'm forced. They all had a choice- I sure as hell don't." The bitterness Riku felt towards his family was evident. He was obviously envious that they could go on and pursue what they wanted, while he was stuck onto his father's choice.
"What does your dad do?" Sora asked, and Riku shook his head.
"He owns a car company, Lotus." Sora nearly choked on his own spit when he realized that his father owned one of the most valuable companies in the world. Their cars were worth millions. No wonder his family was dripping with money.
"Well, it can't be that bad, right?"
"Just hurry up and get me to the pier." Riku mumbled, and the car was silent once more. Sora thought about their conversation for the rest of the ride. Riku was being forced to go to this college so that he could become more capable to be something he did not want to become. His career was pre-set for him before he even had a choice, something his brothers didn't have to experience. Sora could only imagine how angry he'd be if he knew everyone around him was happy with their lives except him.
Sora began to slowly understand Riku's bitterness. Perhaps why he was so rude was because he knew his life would be filled with boring meetings and pointless hours dedicated to something he had absolutely no interest in. Sora frowned. Money didn't buy Riku happiness. It brought him the exact opposite.
"We're almost here." Sora announced. Riku didn't acknowledge the boy, he simply ignored him, apparently too busy with his own thoughts. Sora turned another corner, and then finally saw the boats that traveled to and from the island and the main land. Sora stopped, then turned to Riku, who had already begun to step out of the car.
"Riku…just know, whatever you end up being in life, don't let it drag you down. There's good and bad in everything, you just have to learn to pick out the good. Okay?" Riku turned to Sora, stared at him for a moment, and then turned back towards the pier.
Sora stared as Riku began to walk over to the ticket booth, but felt the boy was walking unusually slow. The brunette furrowed his eyebrows, concerned. What was happening? Something felt wrong…
Sora saw Riku turn, and then heard a few screams from behind him. He saw Riku's face turn from completely annoyed to pale and shocked. Wait, what was going on? Why was everyone scared?
Before Sora had a chance to turn, he felt the slam of heavy metal crash onto him. The noise was unbelievably loud, and he felt himself jolt backwards and then forwards. Pain shot through his chest as he felt the grip of his seatbelt tighten, and then he felt small pricks of pain rip through the back of his arms and his neck. Sora let out a scream, not really knowing what else to do.
Sora's life flashed before his eyes, from his fifth birthday party to his test that had happened just a few weeks ago. He closed his eyes shut, ready for death's cold fingers to wrap around his neck. He never thought he'd die like this.
And then, it was over.
Sora felt the car stop jerking in the direction of the impact, and then he breathed in deep, like a fish out of the water. His lungs stretched painfully.
Sora's hand reached towards the back of his neck instinctively, and then when he felt the sharpness of glass graze his fingers Sora's heart stopped. He looked down at his hand, which was covered in crimson blood, apparently pouring out of his hands, arms, and back quickly.
Sora could hear voices-all of them terrified. He tried to look up to see what was going on, but the second he tried to do that pain shot through every nerve in his body. Sora's eyes widened, and he stifled a scream. He heard the door on his side of the car swing open, and then he felt Riku's shaking hand reach for his face.
"Sora! Sora, listen to me! Shit…" Sora felt Riku's gently grab his wrist, searching for his pulse. Sora groaned.
"Sora, talk to me, where does it hurt?" Riku reached up to move his hair out of his face, and Sora winced. It hurt everywhere. A tear trickled down Sora's face, burning the open wounds on his cheek. What was Riku still doing here? He had to go take the test, was all Sora could think. The boat would leave any moment now, and there wouldn't be another one until five o' clock.
"…the boat…you'll miss the boat…" Sora managed to say. He felt more people surrounding the car, their worried calls to 110 loud enough for Sora to understand.
"Get here quick, there's a boy…he looks about fifteen…"
"I'm not…fifteen….damn it…" Sora mumbled. He felt Riku wrap something around his arm tightly, and he could hear his pulse in his ears. Had he just been in a car crash? He didn't remember seeing a car…where had it come from?
"The ambulance is almost here, hang on…just hang on, okay? Keep talking, say anything, I'll stay here."
"The test…" Was all Sora could say before he felt too tired to say any more. He could feel the sticky blood running down his arms, making every movement painful. Sora could hear Riku roaring at people to move, then he felt his seatbelt being carefully removed. A man placed him carefully on a stretcher, and then he felt himself being propped into what he assumed was the ambulance. A familiar person sat close to him, although Sora was no longer able to decide who it was. White hair…Kadaj? Sephiroth?
"He's bleeding a lot."
"Call his parents."
"His neck is completely covered with glass."
"He can't lose more than this, he'll die."
"It's a good thing you wrapped his arm with your sleeve."
"Sora, can you hear me? Please, just stay with me for a little longer…"
And CHAPTER FIVE! Why did this chapter come out so fast? IT'S BECAUSE I HAVE A PLOT CHART. No, really. I do. I'm trying this new thing where I have the story planned out BEFORE I write it…yeah, not a horrible idea I might add. I've half-assed too many stories in my lifetime to let this one die like the other ones. I WILL FINISH THIS STORY. I PROMISE...SORT OF.
So here is the first climax of the story...I was really inspired when I wrote this because today I re-found my passion for listening to my iPod for long periods of time...
In other news, still counting down 'till BBS. HELL YEAH.
Thanks for reading! Review!