notes – I've always been intrigued by the Riku and Kairi dynamic (or lack thereof), while they'll probably never be together canonically, it's fun to experiment how they interact.


Realism

So this is a story about a young man and the girl of his dreams – a hero of the Keyblade and Princess of Heart, drafting promises and linking hands on the beach of childhood ambitions. They've been in love for as long as they've had the capacity to feel 'love', it isn't hard to see. It's a sappy story, one that might make tears jerk or cause warm sighs to permeate the air.

And where does he fit into all of this?

Ah yes, the 'best friend' role.

It's not like Riku actually cares that he didn't get the girl – he can't picture Kairi cuddling up to him and shoving fruit into his face. And while it would be fairly easy to win her affection, he supposes he can't put Sora through that, not after all he's done for the world(s). It's not like Riku feels lonely when they are together and his prudence tells him not to intrude. He has to be contented with what he's got – it's definitely a big improvement from the Door of Darkness and King Mickey's constant squeaky voice.

But sometimes, not often, Riku kind of hopes that Kairi would speak to him more: They can't be considered best friends if Sora is the only one who is close to either of them, that's bending the Rules. And he's supposed to be the aloof and composed 'best friend', so it's not his place to take the initiative ahead of her (the bubbly, strong-minded female) – it's in the Rules too.

When it does happen, Riku is nowhere near prepared.

It's odd for Sora to be late, but he is – so the aloof best friend and the bubbly love interest wait in uncomfortable silence next to the palm trees. She continues swaying on the spot, a tiny smile plastered on her face – how can she be so happy after all the shit that's happened to the three of them? He'll never understand, as he shifts his weight from one foot to the other.

"Riku? Why don't we ever talk?" Kairi turns to him five minutes into Sora's absence. Riku is taken unawares, he thinks for a second before he replies.

"We never have anything to talk about."

"Well… that's because it's hard talking to you," the girl produces an embarrassed smile when she admits.

"I know I'm not as friendly or as optimistic as Sora," Riku sighs, "but if you ever need anything from me, I'll be there." His fingers pluck the tips of his hair as he replays the sentence in his head, wondering if he is being too sentimental – he does mean it though, there is something about her eyes and her smile that he wants to protect.

"Same here," Kairi nods with a surprising amount of dedication. She steps closer and gestures for him to lend her his ear.

"Sora isn't that reliable all the time," she whispers.

Riku actually laughs, and he comes to understand why Kairi and he are best friends.