Okay, so yesterday I was thinking over the last chapter... and suddenly it hit me. What if there was a reason why Riku did what he did in that chapter?
I don't know, maybe this is an excuse to make Riku's character f-ed up beyond all hell. Anyway, this may get its own fic, because I don't want to keep spamming inboxes with updates for this and should make it stand alone.
As the door swings open, Riku looks up to see his best friend walking in with his daughter in his arms. Immediately, he relaxes, knowing that this is only a friendly visit. His friend was there to see him, even if he had done something horrible. He was still... then he sees it. Sora flashes him a smile but the dark look in his eyes remain guarded.
Riku wilts. No... they couldn't... go back to the way they were before. He sets his hands on the table, letting the handcuffs clank onto the hard metal. Little Xion wiggles in her daddy's arms, obviously impatient to be put down. He watches how Sora holds her tighter, despite her wails of protests. He watches as Sora looks at him how once they would have watched a rabid animal, careful to see if it would attack.
Sora... his best friend... is afraid of him now.
Sora sits down as a guard pulls out a chair for him, finally loosening Xion just enough for her to sit on his lap comfortably. The three year old looks at Riku with the most solemn of expressions before glancing up at Sora, carefully judging her daddy's mood before pulling a little blue handbag into her lap. Preoccupied by watching the toddler, the two men don't talk.
There is no need to talk, both of them having questions that would not be answered in this place, nor at this time. Xion digs around in her bag, making baby talk grunts to herself as Riku speaks quietly to her father. "Sora... good to see you." He says in a weak voice, knowing just how lame he sounded. He was in prison, dressed in bright orange fatigues, and all he could say was that it was good to see him? C'mon, even Sora could tell that he didn't mean it.
Sora just smiles again. "Xion really wanted to come. She said she had something to show Uncle Riku." He says, chuckling fondly as the little girl peers up at him when he says her name. She flashes a grin with equally as white teeth as her father's before going back to her task of finding whatever it was she brought him. Riku nods, the movement causing the handcuffs to shift a little on his wrists. Sora scratches his nose, loosening his arm from the child's waist even more as he begins to relax. "Yeah, she said she wanted to show you... some drawing she did. I dunno, she wouldn't show it to me at all. She said it was for you." He repeats, keeping the conversation firmly on the little girl.
Riku nods again. He knows what it means. He leans back in his chair a little, closing his eyes as his head moves back to rest on the back of the seat. It was a silent agreement to not talk about what happened. About what he did.
About how he caused a woman to kill herself.
Xion lets out a happy cry, clapping her little hands together eagerly when she finds the drawing. She pulls out a crumpled bit of paper out of the bag, and before anyone could stop her, she crawls up onto the table and slaps it down in front of Riku as expertly as a poker dealer in Las Vegas. "This is my picture, Uncle Riku! I drawed it for you!" She declares in a proud voice, pointing down at the sheet of computer paper. He looks down and sees several spiky-headed figures, all with different shades of color. One had silver. She points to it, smiling brightly. "That one's you, and this one's Uncle Roxas, and Mister Axel, and Daddy!" She says, pointing to a blond, a red head, and a brunet respectively. Riku chuckles and pulls the drawing towards himself, observing it carefully.
For such a little kid, Xion was a very good artist. With only a few sweeps of a crayon, she had captured the different personalities of each of her unofficial family members perfectly. Sora of course, is smiling brightly and waving up at the sliver of blue sky up at the top of the page. Axel is holding someone's hand, a little girl with black hair and blue eyes. Riku smiles. Xion. Of course she would have included herself. The little drawing of Xion holds Axel's hand and waves up at the sky just like her father. They were both so hyper, even in a picture, that it was hard to hold back a laugh. Roxas on the other hand, is scowling. There are streaks of blue on the figure's cheeks, and Riku almost feels like he had been slapped when he figures out what they were supposed to be. Tears. Xion had drawn Roxas crying.
Xion hums, touching the wax-covered paper. "Uncle Roxas cries a lot now. He's sad, Uncle Riku. Do you know why he's so sad?" She asks, looking up at him so expectantly that he knows she thought he had the answer. For whatever reason, this little girl saw him as one of the lights of her whole life, and believed in him so greatly that it hurt to know that he was nothing but a fraud. Riku nods and touches the image of Roxas. "I hurt Roxas. That's why I'm in here." He says quietly.
Xion frowns. "What is here?" The child demands, looking at the armed guard seated in the corner of the room curiously. The guard, unafraid of a simple toddler, just waves to her and puts his rifle back onto his shoulder. Riku knows that he is just waiting for the excuse to shoot him and scowls at the concept of it. Everyone hated him here, and for good reason. That didn't mean he had to take their crap, did it? He was a criminal, at least in the eyes of everyone else. So? The inmate looks back at the little girl and feels his rage immediately ebb away, soothed by the presence of the child. He smiles and leans in to whisper to her. She perks up and listens. "This is like a time out for grown-ups, Xion. This is where bad people go." He informs her, watching as her face deflates.
Xion sticks her thumb into her mouth for a moment, sucking the nail before looking at Riku with the greatest amount of confusion he has ever seen. He smiles; she is just so cute. "But you're good... Why are you here?" She mutters to herself, looking at the picture as if the paper itself had betrayed her and in turn, Riku. "Did you do something bad?" She asks next when she sees that Riku wasn't going to answer that question. He nods, knowing that there is no way for such a young child to understand what he did. Xion pauses, looking up at the sky as she ponders the idea in her mind.
Sora sighs. "Xion, get off the table." He scolds, reaching for the little girl. She immediately squeals, distracted from her problem by the idea of avoiding her daddy's hands. Riku grins as Xion scoots across the table and jumps into his lap, ducking under the table in an attempt to hide. He looks down as she covers her face with the hem of his orange jacket, hiding her eyes so that Sora didn't see her. He blushes slightly as she wiggles in his lap, and he feels the vibration of her giggle deep within his chest.
The guard starts to get up, obviously worried about Xion being by the hardened criminal, but Sora quickly waves at him, showing him that it was okay. The guard sits down reluctantly but Sora stands up. "Sorry, Riku. Guess she still likes you," He chuckles, nodding towards the little lump in Riku's oversized orange suit. Riku nods, still blushing a bit. He waves to show him that it was okay. After all, Xion wasn't doing anything bad, and there was no way that Riku would hurt her. First off, he loved the little girl with all of his heart, and second, he was hand-cuffed. Sora walks around the table, kneeling besides Riku's chair. Riku barely hears his muttered thought as he speaks out loud. "After all, hatred is for adults. Kids... can't understand it very well."
What true words. The little girl still loved Riku with everything she had, seeing him as a figure of both dominance and of kindness. The days of her receiving a candy or an ice cream pop from that man's hands are still there in her heart, untouched by any of the darkness that had accumulated in everyone else's. The days of when Riku scolded Xion when she had done something bad are still there, and so are the days where Xion was saved by him when she got too mischievous and fell into danger. She loved him, and despite his deeds and her lack of understanding, she saw a good person in him.
Riku groans as Xion giggles, and feels her move around in his lap and place her hands over her eyes. "Daddy can't see me!" She cries out happily, moving in closer to Riku's stomach to hide. He blushes a little hard, embarrassed by the whole show. Sora chuckles and nods down, motioning for Riku to hug her so she wouldn't jump out from his lap and start running around the room like a hyperactive gazelle. He nods, smiling to himself. Xion was so... cute. He's about to do as Sora says but then feels the little girl's head move up to his chest, more specifically his heart, and press against it. He freezes, feeling his heartbeat suddenly increase as he feels the child snuggling into his chest. She stays there for a few seconds before Sora pounces, snatching the kid right out of Riku's clothes with a triumphant cry of glee.
Riku gulps, breathing a little harder as he watches Sora hold Xion up above his head and the little girl screaming in delight. "Higher, daddy, higher!" She squeals as Sora spins around with her in his loving embrace before he tosses her up into the air and catches her as she plummets, holding her close as she laughs happily. Riku watches this with a strange look in his eyes, a longing that even he didn't understand. He touches his heart and smiles, closing his eyes. He was so happy that they came to see them.
The guard coughs in the corner, obviously wanting to interrupt the playdate. All three of them turn, confused. The man blushes slightly. "Time's up." He mutters, probably embarrassed at having sat and stared at the boisterous antics of the family members. Sora's face immediately falls, and the moment that she notices, so does Xion's in an equally comically and over-dramatic way. Riku laughs, immediately feeling that much better at having re-secured his place in his friend's heart and of knowing he is still firmly in Xion's.
Riku bows his head, hiding his pleased smile. His eyes darken with a strange emotion as he watches the little girl, and once again he has to fight back the urge to get up and rip her from her father's arms. He watches as Sora starts begging with the guard, asking for five more minutes so he could talk with him. He quivers there in his seat, and curses viciously at being bolted to the chair so he couldn't get up. Riku curses everyone and everything in this dank little prison, for not letting him hold Xion. He has to satisfy himself with just the image of her in her father's arms, when she should have been in his. Xion begs along with the guard, asking for just a few more minutes so she could explain her picture to Uncle Riku some more. The guard begins to soften at the girl's request (as well he should, Riku thinks with bitterness. How could anyone resist Xion's charms?) but shakes his head adamantly.
With a cry of dismay, the two turn to Riku and smile apologetically. Xion immediately bursts into tears, wailing that she wanted to stay with Uncle Riku. The words twist in Riku's heart, and he feels the messed up desires that he had tried to keep locked up being brought up to the surface. He feels his arms shaking with want, he wanted to hold her and make her stop crying. He wanted to bring her close and hug her, he wanted to twist her head off and strangle her, he wanted to kiss her and rock her, he wanted to cut off her arms and her legs and hide her away so no one would ever take her away from him again.
He wanted Xion.
He feels his lips twist up into a grin and he trembles with the force of his desires, and he knows they are wrong. But he doesn't care. He would do anything, everything, kill anything and everyone that got into his way for her. Xion cries harder and Riku has to hold himself to keep from ripping the handcuffs off and grabbing her to get her to calm down. He tries to think hard on the idea that he would cause serious damage to himself, and to the guard when the fat bastard got up to restrain him. There would be blood everywhere, Sora would freak out, Xion... Riku sucks in a deep breath, reminding himself that Xion would be traumatized if he hurt himself; like every three year old, she was both fascinated by blood and repelled by it.
He didn't want Xion to be repelled by him. Anything but that. Please, anything but that.
Sora quickly starts making shushing noises to the sobbing child, rocking her in his arms as lovingly as any father would have in that situation. "Shh, Xion, shh... don't let Uncle Riku see you cry!" He implores her, looking up at Riku again as if he wanted the criminal to repeat after him to get the little girl to calm down. For a moment, Sora pauses, a look of confusion on his face. It is at this point that Riku knows that he is unable to keep the rage out of his face. Instead, he just smiles, a cruel cold little smile that leaves Sora stunned and shuts him up instead of Xion.
The guard wretches Riku up, having undone his handcuffs while the two men were preoccupied with Xion's crying. Sora watches Riku as the guard starts to recuff him. The dark look in his eyes just grows stronger as Xion starts to hiccup and choke on her own snot. Chills run down the father's spine as he identifies the emotion as... but no... Riku couldn't... this was his daughter... Riku was her freakin' godfather for Pete's sake! But no, that lust was still there in his eyes and it seems to grow stronger as Sora brings Xion closer to him, hugging her tighter and rocking her to get her to calm down. The hatred is so damn obvious in his face that Sora doesn't know how he had never noticed it before. He shakes harder, suddenly fearing for his child.
How many times had he allowed Riku to wander alone with Xion? How many times had he begged Riku to babysit for him just one night so Kairi and him could go get some rest? How many days had Riku picked her up from Daycare and brought her to the ice cream parlor, or so he said? Sora rubs his fingers through his little girl's hair, feeling panic choke him from the force of all these questions and all of the questions he didn't dare form in his mind just in case that they actually happened. And then Sora understands. Riku's crime makes a sick, and sudden sense and it makes him cling to his sobbing child that much harder.
Naminé... looked just like... Riku's real target... the one he had been after all along was...