A/N: I don't own anything of KH, except for this story-idea. This story takes place one year before KH BBS. It's based on the memory Riku has in my one-shot "A Dystopian Utopia." I wrote this, because I think they never show anything about their parents, which is strange. One would almost think that all the kids were living alone on the islands, except for Sora, because his parents are mentioned once in the games. Enjoy reading! :)
Thanks: Aqua StormXIV and Daughter-of-Light13, who both betaed this
~ He breathed in and exhaled deeply, before he declared, "When I grow up, I also wanna go to the outside world." ~
"Riku, sweetheart, it's time to sleep," Mrs. Aeda, Riku's mother, said, after glancing at the clock to see that it was half past eight already. "So, go brush your teeth and put on your pajamas."
Riku, who was sitting on the couch, drinking a nice glass of warm milk and eating a cookie which his mother had made for him, blew his cheeks in protest and let out a deep sigh, but he said nothing. Nobody could win a discussion with his mother. He knew that very well. The blonde-haired woman (her hair was so blond, that sometimes it looked like it was silver) with aquamarine eyes looked meaningfully at her four year old son. The boy sighed defeated.
"Okay, okay. I'm already going."
He brushed his silver hair out of his face and took his empty glass to bring it to the kitchen. The soft patter of his feet was heard even from the kitchen. Aeda couldn't help but smile. Riku came back into the living room again and looked at his mother with a questioning look.
The woman's face almost wanted to give away her sadness, but she was able to hide it for her child.
"He's in his study, but-"
"He'd rather not be disturbed, not even by his son. I understand," Riku finished his mother's sentence.
She didn't miss the sharp edge in his voice.
"He doesn't mean it that way. He's just very busy with work lately."
Riku just nodded as he slowly walked to the hall to go to his bedroom on the first floor. There wasn't much left to say anymore. His mother looked worriedly at him. She sighed sadly. This was how things went almost every evening. Riku always managed to put on a brave face, but she knew how he was feeling from the inside. Sad, angry, disappointed, rejected.
This was one of the reasons why Riku thought that Sora, his best friend, was so lucky. Sora's father had at least enough time to spend it with his son. Unlike his own dad, Sora's father just made time for that. It was always Sora's father who brought them to the small island at the weekend to play there, too.
He stepped into his room, only to see that his mother had put new pajamas for him on his bed. It was yellow, with tiny green and blue stars on it. He knew that his mother liked the color yellow, so there were mostly yellow clothes in his closet. He didn't mind, though, for yellow wasn't really an ugly color.
He changed his clothes and walked to the bathroom. He grabbed his blue toothbrush (his mother had a pink one and his father a yellow one) and put blue toothpaste on it. It matched the color of his eyes, too. He found that children's toothpaste tasted very good. The toothpaste his parents always used tasted nasty. There was too much peppermint in it, and it wasn't sweet at all, like it should be. He had decided that he would always brush his teeth with children's toothpaste, even when he had grown up. He brushed his teeth the way his mother had taught him, looking in the mirror to see if he did it well.
Up and down, not back and forth. Inside...check. Outside... check. Top... check. The center... check.
He washed his mouth and wiped it with a blue towel on the rack that hung near the heater. He opened the bathroom door and saw that his mother had come upstairs.
"Are you done?" she asked.
Riku nodded and walked back to his bedroom. His mother followed him to wish him goodnight, and, if he wanted, tell him a bedtime story. Riku hopped into bed and put the blankets over him. Aeda put him deep under the covers, just the way he liked the most. Everything under his chin was hidden securely under the covers and was kept warm.
"Goodnight, mommy," Riku spoke.
"Goodnight, sweetheart," she whispered back.
She leaned over to plant a kiss on his forehead. Riku closed his eyes and breathed in deeply.
"No bedtime story tonight?" he asked, creaking an eye open to meet another pair of stunning aquamarine eyes.
"Would you like that?"
Riku nodded briefly.
"Very well, then."
She smiled and took a seat on the edge of his bed, looking thoughtfully at him. Riku could tell she was thinking of what she should tell him. Half the time she told stories she had heard, or read about in her youth, and other times she made up a story herself. Riku could never tell the difference between the stories she made up and the ones she didn't make up, unless she explicitly told him about it.
"Have you ever heard of the greatest legend of Destiny Islands?"
Riku shook his head. His curiosity had slightly decreased, but because his mother had many interesting stories, he tried not to come with preconceptions. That would spoil all the fun.
"There's a story going round which is almost fifty years old. So I think it's needless to say that this was even before my time, - that's why I don't know that much about it - but my mother, your grandmother, has told me about it once... She was about eighteen years old when it happened, maybe even younger. She had the biggest crush on a talented, handsome, smart, popular and charming young man named Xehanort, or something similar. He had long, silver hair and deep blue eyes like the deepest depths of the ocean, where the sunlight can't penetrate."
That said enough to Riku. He feared that this would be one or another boring love story with lots of drama. That kid probably died at a young age, because he couldn't swim - or maybe he fell from a tree when he was trying to get a paopufruit for his great love, that just happened to be Riku's grandmother - and his grandmother had to marry someone else, or something. He just wanted to say something about it, when his mother resumed the story again and said something that caught his attention.
"However, this young man became less popular when he told his friends about his ideas about an outside world. Many thought he was crazy, that his popularity had risen to his head. There was no other world on the other side of the sea that surrounded Destiny Islands. It was never proved by anyone. Due to this situation, Xehanort became more and more curious and determined to prove otherwise, even if it would kill him. He really wanted to get off this suffocating island, like it was a prison. Why he thought that way wasn't really clear. Everyone always thought that he was very happy because of his high status and glorious life, but apparently, it wasn't that way. So he went to work by himself and built a sturdy raft. He made food supply and many other things that he might need during his long journey. His parents didn't know about this, otherwise they would have stopped him. The idea was only known among the teens and some parents who didn't take him serious. He had spent almost one week to prepare for his journey. It seemed like one could find him 24/7 on the beach. Sometimes he was fishing, other times he was looking for a sturdy rope. He was always busy with something that hadn't anything to do with Destiny Islands. He even hadn't slept for a week."
Riku frowned, an expression which certainly didn't fit such a young face. He could hardly imagine that. Wouldn't you die then? You had to faint at least from fatigue.
"When he was finished with everything, he wrote two long letters. The first one was for his parents, especially his mother. And the second one..."
"Was for Grandma?" Riku whispered, filling the silence.
His mother nodded earnestly.
"Yes, the second one was for grandma, his great love. He explained everything in the letter. What he wanted to achieve, that he still loved her, everything. Your grandmother was broken-hearted and she had a big secret that nobody knew anything about. Yet she married your grandfather not long after. I'm quite sure that if that young man had stayed on the island, then he would've been your grandfather now. Xehanort never returned, though. Many think he drowned, but I think he actually found other worlds. He's probably done very good and brave things, for he was a good man. That was the end of the story."
Riku wondered why his mother had chosen to tell him this story, because his mother always had a hidden message in the story. What could it be this time? "Don't be afraid to chase after your dreams, even if everyone declares you crazy?" Probably not.
Aeda saw the question in her son's eyes, and decided to answer it for him.
"As you might have noticed, there are several messages in this story. I'll only tell you about the main two. Unfortunately, you have to find the other two for yourself. The main message of this story is that you should never lose your faith in something, just because everyone says it can't be true. Some things are simply inexplicable. The other message is that there actually is an outside world, but everyone is too afraid to find out. Because we have a large galaxy with many planets, it's very possible to have multiple worlds with life like this."
Riku pondered over her words. She sure had a point, but it sounded a bit difficult. Maybe he would understand when he had grown up.
"But what about Grandma?"
"What about her?" The woman asked.
"Does she... still miss him?"
If Aeda had been surprised by this question, then she certainly didn't show it to him.
"Maybe. I know she still has kept his letter somewhere."
Riku nodded thoughtfully.
He breathed in and exhaled deeply, before he declared, "When I grow up, I also wanna go to the outside world."
Aeda looked earnestly at him, biting her lower lip.
"Why, don't you like it here?"
"Yes I do, but I want to see some more of the outside world. I want to be stronger, just like daddy is...kinda."
"Okay, but only on one condition."
Riku looked at her, expectantly.
"Let me also go with you, so I'll be sure you won't get into trouble. Plus, somebody has to cook for you, right?"
Riku smiled, knowing that he wouldn't be able to survive one day without his mother's delicious meals.
He put his small arms from under the covers to indicate that he wanted a hug from his mother. Aeda did what he wanted and then stroke his head lovingly.
"Goodnight, Riku. Have sweet dreams."
Aeda walked to the door.
"I'll let the light in the hallway on for you, okay?"
Aeda gave her son one last loving look, which Riku returned with a small smile, and then turned off the lights. She let his bedroom door ajar, so there was enough light to invade, for she knew that her son didn't like darkness. He thought it was scary, even though he would never admit that aloud. There was no need to, because Aeda could feel what Riku was thinking of certain things. There was a narrow white stripe of light to see on the black floor.
Riku heard how his mother walked down the stairs, back to the living room. She was probably waiting for her husband to come join her, before she went to sleep, too. There was one thing that gave Riku a rather uncomfortable feeling, though. Maybe it was coincidence, but maybe it wasn't. He didn't, and couldn't know. The question was, how come his mother was the only one with such light hair in her family, that it almost looked silver, while his grandfather and grandmother both had quite dark hair when they had been young?
A/N: I wanted to show that Xehanort was just an average teenager, before he went to the dark side. I also wanted to let you realize that sometimes Xehanort and Riku look like they have a lot in common. The main difference is that Riku made other decisions than Xehanort. I couldn't help but notice this when I saw the BBS cutscenes. Gah, I really hate Xehanort now. The name Aeda comes from the word "agenda," which means diary in Dutch (not the one you write secrets in, but the one you write your homework in). I just omitted the letters G and N. So, what do you think of it? Was it good? Horrible? So-so? A review can make my day, you know. ;)