Star Shaped Clouds
"That one's easy! It's a boat!" If anyone were paying attention, they might have seen that for a moment the sky became the tiniest bit brighter. In the mind of the young boy watching the clouds go by, he heard laughter indicating he had guessed correctly. "Of course I'm right. C'mon! At least try to make it challenging!" he dared the sky above.
"Riku! Time for supper," the young man's mother called from the doorway.
"Coming!" he shouted back. Turning his attention back to the sky, he gave it a guilty smile. "Well, I guess that's all for today. See you tomorrow Sora."
It had been this way for the longest time. Every day, he and Sora would play from dawn until supper. Sora would make shapes in the clouds, and Riku would guess them all day long. At the age of seven, Riku had one friend, and as far as he was concerned that was all he needed. His parents thought differently however. They were concerned that their child didn't play with any of the other kids on the island, and that the one he did play with was little more than imaginary. At first it had been cute. As a toddler, he had never been social, so to have him say he had a friend, even if said friend was invisible to everyone else was a sort of breakthrough. They had thought that eventually he would start to make real friends too, and in time forget about his imaginary one like all other children. That hadn't happened though.
Another year of school would be starting soon, and knowing Riku would have to learn that his 'friend' Sora was nothing but a vast expanse of blue above them, and not in fact another person, his parents decided to break the news to him that night. Once everyone was at the dinner table, his mother decided to start things off gently. Casually she asked her son, "So, what did you do today Riku?" It would have been nearly impossible not to know, having seen her son giggling at clouds all day long, but she pretended not to know anyway.
"Sora and I played Cloudinary!" he answered enthusiastically. Cloudinary was the ridiculous name he had thought up when this entire mess had started, but when he'd been told it was a silly name, the sev en year old had been quick to pin the blame on Sora.
"You mean you watched clouds all day and guessed their shapes Riku," his father interjected matter-of-factly.
Not quite understanding what his father meant by that, Riku only nodded, since the words were in a sense true. Only, Cloudinary was a more fun way of putting it. "Yeah," he answered quietly. "Sora made shapes in the clouds, and I had to guess them."
Normally he might have gone on to say that he would play it the other way if only he could shape the clouds, but he couldn't since he wasn't the sky like Sora was. His mom interrupted before he could continue though. "Riku sweetie, who is Sora?" she asked like most adults asked a particularly unintelligent child what sound a cat made. She was just trying to make this as easy for her little boy as possible though.
Raising an eyebrow in confusion, he looked at his mommy weirdly, but answered her strange question anyway. "Sora's the sky mommy. We've been best friends for three years, and we play together every day. How could you forget who Sora is?" Riku thought for a moment that her forgetting might have something to do with how she often said she was getting old. Either way it seemed weird, given that she asked after Sora every day before now.
Before anything else could be said on the matter, it seemed that Riku's father had reached his limit. He was never patient to begin with and this only tried on the little patience he did have. Slamming his hands down on the table he roared, "Sora's not real!" He was sick of all his wife's beating around the bush. If his son was going to learn anything before school started tomorrow, he would have to be set straight clearly. "The sky is just the sky Riku! It doesn't change the shapes of the clouds, and it doesn't play games! Do you understand? Kids play games, so tomorrow you're going to stop talking to the sky and play real games with real kids! Am I understood?"
Trembling in his seat, the silver haired youth struggled to take it all in. The concept of Sora not being real baffled him. The idea that his best and only friend had never existed was a difficult one to grasp, but looking at both his parents, he knew they would never lie to him, and that even now they were telling him the truth. Aquamarine eyes, hardening, the little boy nodded. He promised that he would make lots of real friends the next day, and although his father was only satisfied with this, his mom was extremely proud, and gave him an extra big slice of cake to celebrate the last day of summer.
The next morning, Riku woke up bright and early like he always had, ready to greet the day and sky. Just as he opened the blinds though, he remembered what his dad had told him the night before, and despite looking straight at the same star shaped cloud he saw every morning, his face hardened with determination. Even though he had promised his dad he wouldn't speak to the sky, since it wasn't a real person, he broke the rule one last time. Usually he would guess something as ridiculous as a dinosaur, but this morning he just whispered, "You're not real Sora, so I'm not playing games with you anymore."
At school, Riku met lots of other kids his age, and played with most of them, making a surprising amount of friends quickly. Throughout the day however, it rained and rained, and even after the rain itself had stopped, the sound carried on in Riku's head, much like the laughter he'd heard the day before.
Only this rain didn't stop with the gentle glow of the sky.
Eleven years later, the rain still pounded in his skull, only now it was just a regular part of Riku's life. For the most part it was just background noise, but his parents had still insisted on bringing him to professionals of all sorts. Neurologists and psychologists alike couldn't figure it out. When Riku had made the suggestion that it sounded like the sky was crying, his father had lashed out at him again, shouting how the sky didn't cry, just like it didn't laugh or play games with him.
Luckily there were some tricks to the rain in his head. For instance, it was quietest, almost like a misting instead of a rain, when he was outside, which was convenient since Riku loved being outside anyway. It grew louder depending on what he was doing, who he was with, or where he was. It tended to be loudest when he was inside, which became more of a problem as he grew older and had to spend more time inside for school, or studying. One time it had even thundered, and it must have been only him because it was beautiful outside. During his first kiss with the prettiest girl in school, he had barely touched her lips when a giant clap of thunder crashed through his skull, startling him a good foot and a half away from the girl. Needless to say, she had been offended at his reaction, and never spoke to him again. Most often though, the storm was loudest whenever he just gave in to his father's demands.
Even though he was now well aware that the sky was not a person, Riku still took a great interest in the subject, and the first year university student even chose that as his field of study. What piqued his interest most though was the star shaped cloud he woke up to each morning. That was how he found himself bored to death in his 100 level meteorology course, tuning out the professor's lecture. Attempting not to yawn, his attention was caught by the two girls beside him giggling quietly and whispering. With a cruel smirk, he dug his pen in under the ribs of the girl directly beside him.
The poor startled girl yelped attracting the eyes and ears of everyone in the class. Luckily the professor only shot their group a nasty, condescending look before continuing on, muttering something about fooling around outside his class. The laughter died soon after that, but even then the brunette was still blushing, as bright a red as her friend's hair. Yet somehow she still managed to look threatening when she glared at him. Raising his hands in surrender, Riku opened his arms for an apology hug. "Forgive me Selphie?" he whispered, giving her a kicked puppy look that would make any girl swoon. Looking him up and down, she pouted, but smacked him upside the head and hugged him back. Anyone else watching the scene might have mistaken it for a couple making up, but both knew that preferences lied elsewhere.
Once forgiven, he turned his attention to his wine haired best friend on the other side of Selphie, and tried to get an idea of what they were laughing at from her computer screen. "What's so funny?" he asked, giving up on figuring out how the power point slide with their notes on it could be so amusing. It took Kairi a moment to realise he was talking to her now, but when she realised she was now the center of attention, she quietly raised a finger telling him to wait a moment. Scrolling backwards through the slides on her laptop, she finally stopped on a filler page, covered in pictures of clouds of all shapes, sizes, and types.
Leaning over Selphie, she whispered, as inconspicuous as a purple possum eating a pyramid shaped pancreas, "It's more silly than funny, but we were just messing around, and saying what the clouds were. What do you think this one is Riku?" she asked pointing to one of the clips on the screen.
"Cumulonimbus?" he guessed, not entirely familiar with all the different cloud types yet, and confused as to why the act of doing more school work than necessary would be considered funny or silly.
Both girls just looked at him incredulously, with a look on their faces that asked a combination of "Are you serious?" and "Are you retarded?" Shaking her head and smiling Kairi reiterated, "I meant what shape they look like. Didn't you ever guess cloud shapes as a kid? Like, Selphie here though that most of them looked like Cloud Strife." The friends laughed at that one.
"Well he is the only cloud worth looking at," she winked, starting to pack up since class was almost over. "Damn it! I want his new movie to come out already!" she whined.
"Here's to that," Kairi said, raising her hand in a mock toast. The three clinked their imaginary glasses, and drank to the blond celebrity's good looks. "And to Riku for having better taste than a pin up bikini model," she added, toasting to her silver haired best friend. Shortly after the kissing incident with the thunder, Riku had come out of the closet, sure that it hadn't just been the thunder to shoot him away from the girl. The young man had broken many a female stalker's heart that day, but everyone had accepted it well enough, and Selphie even loved him more for it.
The class had been dismissed during their little cheers session, and so just as Kairi began to close her laptop, Riku grabbed hold of the screen and pointed quickly to the previously indicated picture. "It's a cherry," he answered plain and simple, with a quick smile. Letting go, he grabbed his things, and headed off to his tutorial.
Once out in the hall, he realised the world somehow seemed louder, and that something in general felt off. It took a moment, but he realised that the rain was gone. Thinking about it, he remembered Kairi and Selphie's voices had been as washed out as everyone's voices tended to be when he was talking to them, and that...it had stopped sometime after he had said the cloud looked like a cherry. The rain that had haunted him for over a decade had ended just like that, with no rhyme or reason about it.
More terrifying, and what he wished he could just pass off as another student or mere coincidence was what he heard next. A laugh. Nothing like the childish giggle of his old imaginary friend, but somehow he knew if it belonged to anyone, it would be Sora. He had to admit though it was somewhat croaked, as if whoever was laughing had been crying for a long time.
"That's right Riku. Good job." He hadn't recognised the voice, but looking around the empty courtyard, as he trekked his way to class, then looking up to the sky, he had a fairly good idea who it was.
"That was an easy one," he muttered with a smirk, and apparently to no one he added in a whisper, "Sora."
"What the hell is that?" Anyone passing by the picnic bench on which the silver haired was lying would think he was crazy. Maybe he was, seeing as he was the only one who could hear the mischievous laughter, and playful voice of the sky. "No I do not need a hint. I know what it is, it's just too stupid to comprehend. You're just being ridiculous now." The old man who had been on his way to ask if the young man was all right, quickly changed his mind after the sudden outburst, walking away as fast as his legs could carry him. Riku didn't even notice the people around him. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he asked no one in particular, "Were you always this childish?" He couldn't see, but somehow he knew that Sora had been pouting from his comments. "It's a shark riding a dragon's tale while the dragon torches a lobster eating a whale. Happy now?" Just as he'd been certain Sora was pouting before, now he was sure the sky was grinning. It was hard to say whether he was happy for the correct answer, or because Riku believed in him again, but it didn't matter, because both were true.
Ever since his guess in meteorology class earlier that day, Riku had noticed just how many shapes there were in the clouds, and how often they changed into something else. He had even skipped his tutorial to spend the afternoon gazing at them, and pointing out the different shapes that Sora made in them. Even though it wasn't the voice of a child anymore, something about the lilt, and the light-heartedness of it made Riku positive that it had to be Sora. The rain was gone, and with it were Riku's beliefs that Sora wasn't real.
The sky had glowed with laughter every time Riku guessed right, which he nearly always was. It wasn't until the sky glowed a more natural orange that the silveret realised just how late it was. "Ah! Shit! Mom's going to kill me!" he panicked jumping off the bench and bolting home. He only got so far before something too strong to just be wind bowled him over. Looking up, he half expected to find Selphie crying to him about something or other. Last time it had been because she'd caught Tidus ogling at the pop star Yuna again.
This time however it was heavy rains outside, and a very loud and protesting "No!" inside. Riku was speechless, having not expected a reaction this violent at all. From what he remembered, Sora had never reacted like this when he had to leave. Sure it had been a while, but would he really have changed this much? Rain pelting down on him hard, things only became worse when he felt a sudden weight on his chest, pinning him down. To be precise, it felt like someone was sitting on him, but never one to lose a wrestling match, or to be out of control in any situation, Riku closed his eyes, and flipped whatever it was holding him down, now the one doing the pinning instead of vice versa. Suddenly aware of his surroundings, Riku was glad no one was around to see him wrestle with air. Hell, he wasn't even sure what was real anymore. He couldn't see anyone, and he didn't feel anything, so how could he be sure that hadn't all been a part of his imagination? The only indication he had that he had Sora pinned, and that the...whatever he was hadn't escaped was the sound of Sora screaming louder and more incoherently. "It's not fair Riku! You haven't said a word to me in so long, and you talk to your parents all the time! Stay with me! I missed you."
Thunder cracked, and Riku was startled, but more than the thunder he was terrified of that voice. For all the time he knew of Sora, his voice had always been in his head, and yet now in this maddening storm that had appeared out of nowhere, he heard Sora's voice clearly like he heard anyone else's. He couldn't panic right now though. Taking a deep breath, he shouted to be heard over the wind, "I'm sorry if you were lonely, but there's nothing I can do about the past! I'll make it up to you somehow, but I'm not just going to give up my parents Sora!"
The confession left him out of breath, but it felt like the rain was lightening up a little at the very least. "I promise I won't leave you again Sora," he said quietly, not sure if Sora had heard it, or if he'd even said it. Somehow, the last twenty minutes had become the most exhausting time of his life.
Clouds dispersing, he felt arms reach around his neck, and hanging limp, Riku had to struggle a bit on the rained soaked ground to hold himself up now. What he heard next came as a whisper in his ear, sending a shiver down Riku's spine. "Just one more? Over there, by the horizon."
Curious, Riku peered over towards the blinding sun shining through thinning clouds. One stood out though, in the last light of the day that he was very familiar with. "It's a star," he breathed, with a smile.
Just as Riku was caught in the beauty of the sunset and clouds, Sora was caught in awe from the way the light filtered through Riku's silver hair, and sea green eyes. Unseen, Sora floated back up to his perch, that he normally watched the beautiful young man, and the rest of the world from. "With a gentle smile he whispered into Riku's thoughts, "That's right." Both watched day fade into night, and Sora couldn't be certain that Riku had even heard him, as he watched the young man head home. Whispering to himself, before he had to greet his mother moon, he muttered, "I'd love to spend forever with you if you could catch me a star Riku."
Lying in bed that night, Riku thought over everything that had happened that day, and how something so seemingly normal had led to something extraordinary. It didn't matter what his parents said; he knew Sora was real now. Best of all, the rain had stopped. That had been all he said to his mom when she caught him coming in soaked, and more importantly in her mind, late. The woman had been too ecstatic to even remember to punish her son. Not that it really mattered now that he was an adult, but he stilled refrained from mentioning that the rain was replaced with a familiar voice, and that he'd skipped class to play with it. As always, he barely said a word to his father other than what was necessary. His father still wasn't pleased with his preference for guys as opposed to girls, but at least they could be civil.
Just as he was about to roll over and turn out the light, something hit the window. Given the amount of times he had snuck out after curfew during high school, Riku could easily tell the difference between something accidently hitting the window pane, and someone trying to get his attention. With a sigh, Riku rolled off the bed, and made his way to the window, determined to tell Kairi or whoever it was that he wasn't interested in drinking on the beach, or whatever they had in mind tonight. Years of sports had also helped his reflexes, which came in handy when an acorn whizzed by. Popping his head out and looking down, he was going to shout at whoever had nearly killed him, only to find no one there. Staring in confusion at the ground below, Riku considered for a moment that maybe he was crazy after all.
That is until another acorn plunked on his head from above. Looking up, he saw an unfamiliar face beaming at him from a branch of the tree outside his window. The boy looked like he might be Riku's age, or maybe a little younger. No more than a year or so. He had wild brown spikes all about his head, and eyes that seemed to glow blue in the dark. He also wore a strange outfit, especially since summer had just ended. The entire thing seemed to shimmer, although in the moonlight, it seemed much more natural than any of the outfits his mom had ever described, that she used to wear, and it sparkled like stars in some places. If he had to guess, he'd say it was a combination of black pants and a dark blue tank top. He wore a similar hoodie over top that was decorated with, from what Riku could tell, were constellations, and to finish off the outfit that made Riku sweat just looking at it, were somewhat normal looking fingerless gloves, and a scarf that clashed with everything. The scarf by itself was nice, but it was covered in clouds instead of stars like the rest of this kid's outfit...Were they moving? Blinking, and staring in wonderment, the sleepy, and probably delirious teen saw that the clouds on the scarf were in fact moving.
The boy raised a finger to his lips telling Riku to keep quiet, although at this point he wasn't even sure if he could use his voice. Dropping down stealthily, the brunet fell onto the next branch down, right in front of Riku's window, bouncing lightly in the wind. Sitting, and wrapping his legs around the branch, so as not to call, the blue eyed boy cupped his hands around his mouth, and as loudly as he could he whispered, "Riku! C'mon out! Woah!" The youth caught himself from falling off the branch at the same time that the words got caught in Riku's throat. He recognised the boy now from his voice alone. After all it was the voice that had been crying in his head for all those years, even if at the time it had sounded like rain.
"Sora?" he whispered back in disbelief. The only response he got was a bright smile in affirmative to his query.
"In the flesh," he chirped, as if quite pleased with this accomplishment.
"B-but how?" This was completely beyond the taller boy's understanding. Voices in his head that manipulated the shape of the clouds, he could handle. This though...this was just incomprehensible.
Tilting his head to the side in confusion, he answered quite plainly, "I asked my mom, and she said just for the night. She promised to take care of everything for me while I'm gone, but that I have to be back to meet my dad." He explained all this pointing up to the sky, which was where Riku imagined Sora lived. Hell, he had kind of assumed that Sora, true to his name, was the sky.
Looking up to see what precisely Sora was pointing at, all Riku could see was the moon. In fact, other than black, that really was all that was up there. "Sora..." he said softly, aware of his parents sleeping down the hall, "Where are the stars?"
"They're all right here," he said happily enough, opening his arms like one might when going in for a hug. Sure enough, all the shimmers, and sparkles on the ridiculously hot outfit appeared to be stars after all. "I'm keeping them safe. Now hurry up before your dad or mine find us!" He kept his arms open, and Riku realised, that Sora meant to catch him. He blinked a couple of times, and then chuckled to himself. Dream, hallucination, or otherwise, why not indulge the boy.
"Gimme a minute to throw on some actual clothes," he called back quietly, closing the blinds as he turned back to his room. Not really feeling like fighting with his dresser or closet in the dark, Riku picked up the clothes he had worn that day from his floor, and quickly threw everything on.
Opening the blinds again, for the few seconds it took Sora to notice he had returned fully clothed, Riku got a chance to really look at Sora. His outfit was strange in this climate, but it didn't seem to bother the younger boy at all. More importantly, there was something unreal about the boy that made him beautiful. Riku shook his head. It was probably just the moonlight, or the sleep deprivation he told himself. Sora noticed the action though, and turned his attention back to his friend, and opened his arms wide again, with an even wider grin.
"Hurry up!" he insisted.
Riku just laughed, and hopped out the same way he always did. Grabbing the branch Sora was sitting on he slipped down to the branch below, and made his way down, calling up after him, "Hurry up slow poke!" Sora laughed along with him, and hopped down from the tree, running after Riku, to wherever he may lead.
After roaming around aimlessly for a while, and chatting about anything and nothing, never mind the fact that the sky was on Earth in the form of a cute teenager, the two sat on the beach, letting the waves roll in at their feet. Finally they had settled into a comfortable silence, with nothing but the sound of the waves to fill the void. After a while, in which Riku felt he must have fallen asleep, Sora shook his shoulder, face alight with curiosity. Running his eyes, and sitting up properly he made a "Mmmmmrh?" noise to ask what it was Sora wanted.
Blue eyes lit up with his smile, much like the sky did when Riku amused Sora before, and the brunet turned his body towards the ocean in front of them, and pointed to a great silhouette protruding from the water. "What's that Riku?" he asked like a small child learning all about the world.
"Hm? That's the play island. Most of the kids on the island go there to avoid chores." Looking at his companion, it was clear from his expression that he wanted to go. This kid could not hide his emotions to save his life. Laughing at the thought, Riku stood, brushing sand off his pants, and he offered a hand to Sora. "C'mon. Let's go before your dad shows up." Sora nodded, face alight now with excitement and anticipation.
Even though he had been the one to suggest they go, it was Sora who dragged Riku along to the docks, and to take over rowing when it was obvious Riku was way too tired to. Along the way, the silver haired youth's mind wandered, and he got an idea of what he wanted to show Sora first.
It took a while since it was Sora's first time rowing a boat across an actual sea. Riku vaguely recalled some animated explanation about how he would sometimes row through a sea of stars or something.
Once they reached the dock, Riku tied up the boat and on an impulse took Sora's hand, tugging him towards his favourite place on the island. He didn't see it, but behind him, Sora smiled softly at the gesture and followed, trusting Riku completely. Crossing a rickety wooden bridge, they came upon a small island with nothing on it other than a bent over tree, which Riku let go of Sora's hand to jump on. Following the older boy's lead, Sora hopped on after him, and spotted something odd, and yellow in the tree.
Following the brunet's gaze, Riku smirked at the sight. There, plump and ripe was the island's legendary paopu fruit. Shaped like a star and said to intertwine destinies; this was what Riku had brought his new and yet oldest friend here for. With a yawn, the tall young man turned around and easily grabbed hold, offering it to the boy. "Here. Another star to add to your collection." The blue eyed young man took the proffered fruit, and stared at it with wide eyes for a moment or two. "They say if you share it with someone, your destinies become intertwined." Taking Sora's hands in his own he raised the paopu to his own lips, and with a smirk, murmured seductively, "C'mon, I know you want to try it." All of this might just be some crazy dream any he thought to himself, so why not take a leap of faith? With that thought in mind, he bit into one of the star's points, and gave it back to the sky.
Sora chuckled at his antics. "Of course. I would love to spend forever with you." That said, he took the star back and took a bite of his own. Nothing felt different, but nevertheless, the two boys still finished the fruit together, and talked about their lives and what the other had missed out on this whole time, lying together on the branch.
"Even after you said I wasn't real, I kept watching you Riku. No one else can hear me, and no one certainly talks to me. At least not nicely," he explained, remembering drunks, and other sad fools who cursed at the sky.
"Sorry about that Sora," Riku whispered, taking Sora's hand again. He was incoherent and only half listening to all of Sora's tales, but at least his voice was nice to listen to. "So, your mom's the moon?" he asked, prompting Sora to go on, since Sora seemed to already know a lot about him, but he himself hardly knew anything about the boy who only became more beautiful as dawn slowly approached.
"Yes, and my dad's the sun," he said softly, looking towards the eastern horizon. "Apparently they had me so that they would always have something to keep them together. Something about the Gods, and people of Earth being displeased with them always being together, and whatnot." Blue eyes fluttered shut, sleepy from a long day, and even longer night. It had taken a lot of energy to appear in his human form on Earth, but opening his eyes to look up at the equally exhausted Riku, he knew it was well worth it.
Ruffling a hand through Sora's spiky hair, the silver haired young man asked through a yawn, "So you have to leave at sunrise? Will you tell me the story another time?"
Sora hesitated, but eventually conceded. "I'm...I'm not sure when I can come back. I want to stay...but," looking to the east again, the sun started to rise. Only the sky that appeared was a deep gray with no clouds. Only the sun appeared, indicating it was time to go. He wrapped his arms more tightly around Riku's torso almost an act of defiance.
A sad look passed through aquamarine eyes, as the young man followed Sora's gaze to see gray space where the sky should be. Where Sora should be. "I don't want you to go," he said determined. Saying that wasn't enough though it seemed, since right before his sleep-deprived eyes, Sora was fading away. There was still a weight there though, albeit growing lighter as Sora's image became fainter. The thought of losing Sora woke him immediately and he desperately tried to grab onto the already transparent image. "No!" he cried reaching out. Sora was crying. He couldn't see it, but somehow he knew that even without rain in his mind or a face to judge by, Sora was crying. No one was around to tell him that he was crying too.
"I'm sorry Riku," Sora said softly like he had always spoken. Riku heard Sora's voice in his mind, and directing a teary gaze to the line where the sky met the sea, it was easy to tell the sky was now where it belonged again as the sun rose to reveal a blue dawn. Tiredly, but just as determined as Riku had been when he said he didn't want Sora to leave, Sora ploughed on, "I promise I'll come back some day Riku. It's destiny after all isn't it? After all, it's only natural given all the stars that gave us their wishes." Somehow Sora was able to laugh at all this. Riku was only confused though, and he felt a headache coming on, trying to put everything together.
"Go home Riku. I'm going to sleep now, but I'll be here when you wake up, and I promise to always be around." Riku only did as he was bid, and blearily walked home in a half zombie state of mind. His tears that he'd never been aware of had dried, but his eyes remained red in their absence. He was apparently oblivious to many things, as he was made aware when he shuffled in the door to his home, not bothering with scaling the house or tree.
"You may be an adult now, but you had better have a good excuse young man!" The shrill voice was one Riku would never mistake. It was his mom, and she was clearly pissed. Usually his mom was the more reasonable parent, but when she was angry, it was usually wisest to make one's way to a bomb shelter. Riku could only cringe though as she walked down the stairs and inspected him. "A rave Riku! Really? I would have thought you knew better than that!" She sniffed indignantly, with a scowl on her face that would freeze the devil himself. "At least you don't smell like booze. Thank God for that. Now go wash up! Your face looks awful." It was clear he was dismissed from the way she stormed off down the hall to the kitchen. Angry or not, she was still his mother, he thought hearing sounds from the kitchen as she probably started on making him breakfast. He would probably get his punishment later when she deemed him sober, even if he wasn't drunk at the time being anyway.
Making his way up the stairs though, Riku couldn't help but wonder why she had suspected a rave of all things. Drinking on the beach or a sex party at the school would have made more sense he would have thought. Once he reached the bathroom for a shower, he blasted the hot water and began to strip off his black shirt. Once it was off he let his mouth hang open for a few minutes just staring at the thing.
All over the front.
More accurately he could say, these were stars. Stars of all things! And all over wherever Sora had touched. He blushed a little at how his mind had put the thought together. Nothing that dirty had happened by a long shot! Sora had just hugged him for warmth...and clung to him for quite some time. Pushing the thoughts from his mind he stripped off the rest of his clothes; star covered or otherwise and spent a good long time scrubbing away last night and the confusion it brought. Once the water finally succeeded in waking him up some more he laughed lightly supposing all these little stars must be Sora's thanks for the big star shaped fruit they had shared earlier in the night. It would certainly be interesting to see what the sky would look like tonight missing so many stars.
A little bit more than a year later Riku was now studying for second year exams. Or at least, that's what he should have been doing. Instead, as his red head best friend ran off to meet Selphie for their planned girl's night, Riku went about his new favourite hobby. Pulling out his blue tooth, he laid himself out on the grass in the courtyard and started naming cloud shapes. Everyone now knew all about Sora, given how frequently they apparently talked on the phone. A few of his friends had asked when they would get to meet Sora, but the only reply Riku could ever give them was that he lived too far away to really say. Anyone who had grown up with the man knew he was eccentric, so none bothered to question why he would always talk about the shapes of clouds, and mainly focused on other topics of conversation they might pick up on. Selphie was determined it was love. After all why else would he spend so much on long distance fees otherwise? Riku would just laugh and shrug every time and tell her an elusive "Maybe." He was always cautious to say this indoors though where curious ears wouldn't hear.
Pretending to fiddle with the blue tooth so it looked like he was actually talking on the phone and not to a voice he heard in his head that was actually the sky, he started the conversation as he always did. "Hey Sora! Where's my star shaped cloud?" He laughed, knowing the answer by heart now would be
"No stars for you until you pay me back all the stars I already gave you."
Turning over, he faced the direction the voice had come from, mouth agape at the sight of Sora, in the flesh smiling down at him from little more than a few yards away. The brunet was holding a cell phone to his ear, using the same trick Riku had used every day, even though he was clearly close enough to be heard. Closing the phone he waved, with a giant goofy grin on his face. Riku had to take a few moments to look between Sora and the sky above him. It was blue, and yet here Sora stood. Deciding to put thinking about it aside for now, his face exploded into a giant smile of his own as he stood and bolted over the sky and hugged him for all he was worth.
"Sora!" he shouted happily scooping him up.
"Hey! Put me down Riku!" Sora laughed, hugging back. Despite only meeting each other face to face once, it was obvious from the reunion that the two had missed each other. The only sort of response he got was a few more swings around, and Riku's face buried into his neck until they both eventually flopped back onto the ground laughing.
"How are you even here?" Riku asked excitedly, facing Sora, making sure to take in as much of the boy as he could for whatever amount of time Sora might be here this time. "I thought that the sky wasn't actually the sky without you," he elaborated on his confusion, gesturing to the bright blue sky above them, clouds, sun and all.
Sora only beamed, rolling over so they were both facing each other now. "You are now looking at the proud older brother of two absolutely adorable little skies. If Riku could save this smile for a life time, he was sure he could never be sad again. "...Mom and Dad said they would be sad, but they couldn't exactly deny me my request given how they got together and stayed together and-" Oh crap, Sora had been talking, and apparently he'd missed some part of the explanation. "Oh, and expect for constellations soon. Namine, that's my baby sister, she likes to draw, and I have no doubt she'll make stars her medium when she figures out how. As for Roxas-"
"Wait, sorry Sora, but what happened?" Riku interrupted, slightly embarrassed admitting that he hadn't been paying full attention. He had a feeling that with Sora around, that was going to be a bit of a problem. The brunet was too cute not to be distracted by.
Sora only laughed, and explained once again. "I'm here to stay," he said simply. "I asked my parents if there was any way I could be with you like the paopu said we would be. At first they were against me coming down to Earth permanently since I was the sky and you're a human, but then I reminded them how others had been against them being together since he's the sun and she's the moon. Eventually they conceded that if they were blessed with another child, they would be able to take over as sky, and I could be with you. As it turned out they were in fact blessed during the eclipse this year," he said with a blush, not wanting to get into those details. "In fact they were lucky and got twins! Roxas and Namine! When they're old enough you'll definitely have to meet them! They'll have to come down to meet us though since you can't go up and neither can I-"
"You can't go home?" Now Riku was shocked. Sora...had given up his home just to come live on Earth? Sora had done all that...for him? The blue eyed boy...no, young man, just nodded at him, still smiling despite what he had just said.
"I'll miss them, but they'll always be there to watch over me," he whispered now, rolling onto his back and smiling at what he probably saw as his little siblings and father. "Every time I thought about it though, I just couldn't imagine living away for you longer than necessary. You know the constellation Hercules?" he asked, suddenly out of the blue. Riku nodded, confused by the change of subject, but didn't interrupt. "He once told me that people do crazy things when they're in love. I guess I finally figured that one out for myself."
Riku wholly believed that Sora's smile alone could light up the world, even if the sky no longer lit up with it. At the very least his world certainly lit up every time he saw Sora grin like he was now. It took the taller one a moment to take in the meaning of the words though, and in that time, Sora had already managed to snatch a kiss. It didn't take his mind long to catch up after that, but his body managed to catch up first, as he pulled Sora in for another kiss.
Who could say what this was or how it would play out. It had started with an imaginary friend and ended in a dream, but right now all he needed to know was that he couldn't agree with Sora more on the love bit. That thought in mind, he kissed Sora again, both of them laughing and smiling, knowing that by the stars they shared everything would work out.
This is for Chronos Mephistopheles (man you have a long name) for guessing correctly what the inspiration for Relatively Speaking was. That's right! It was the theory of relativity 8D Oh grade 12 physics, I miss you. Anyhow, she asked for a Fairy Tale involving Riku and Sora, and so this summer I was inspired to write this ^^ It's more of a modern day fairy tale, but if you'd prefer the other story I offered then I can write that too, although you're probably well aware by now how long it takes for me to write stories. I apologize that it took me so long to get this to you. First it was a virus, then it was a lack of time to write, and then it was me being an idiot and forgetting the paper draft at home when I went to university last Fall. Either way, I think 7000+ words one shot should make up for it, and I'm fairly certain they're relatively well written words. I like my writing style anyway. So if you want a redo on your prize CM just tell me and I'll get to work on that one then!
To anyone who isn't the prize winner of Realatively Speaking and who made it to the end of this long winded tale, congratulations! This is my longest story (online) to date. Tell me any thoughts (besides ones along the lines of "You talk too much." I'm already well aware of that fact -_-; ) you may have on this piece. It's cheesy, and fluffy, but it was meant to be a fairly tale, and that's the excuse I'm going with. Now then I'm off to read the most recent KHR chapter again 8D 1827 anyone? And I was beginning to think Amano-sensei had forgotten about her yaoi fangirls XD Okay ciao ciao for now!