Author's Note: Welp… Lets just say Sora changed my plans… All is not explained in this chapter, because he butted in xD
Thanks for the reviews, guys; I've even made some of you cry and delayed your homework… *mischievous smirk* Xx
I am, however, out of Oreos to give you… xD
The very first time I thought I lost you was a long time ago. We were reaally little. You got mad at something, but I dunno what because I just saw you going crazy and attacking your house with a stick. You were crying, and your dad was calling you, but he didn't come out of the house at all, and I didn't see him either… I've never really seen your dad properly and I've never seen him leave the house… that's kinda weird.
My mom just carried on walking but don't get mad at her, 'cause I think that if she knew what was going on she'd really care, and she'd look after you too. She was holding my hand so I had to go…
It wasn't until the afternoon that anything happened. There were people looking for you everywhere, and they kept calling our house. I got kinda mad 'cause no one would tell me where you were, and then my mom told me that no one could find you.
I wanted to look for you, Riku. I hope you don't think back on that and think that I didn't care. I cried right up until you were found 'cause my mom wouldn't let me look for you and I thought I'd never see you again, then I cried after you were found too, because I wanted to hug you and you didn't want one.
I don't know why, but I thought you really hated me. I thought you didn't want to hug me because you were mad at me, and that's what I told my mom. She said that sometimes people don't want to be hugged when they're sad, and I didn't understand, but I do now.
I don't want my mom to hug me right now because I know I'll cry. I feel like I'll cry so hard I'll break.
The young brunette teen sat in the hospital waiting room ducked away from his mother's touch and remained staring at a spot on the floor, staring so hard that it was a wonder he didn't burn a hole right through it.
"Sora…" his mother whispered, softly, "We'll have to go home soon… I think maybe we should right now, and then you can get cleaned up…"
Sora fiercely struggled not to look down at himself and see the blood that wasn't his own staining his t-shirt.
"And, when you're ready," his mom continued, "I think we should have a little chat…"
Sora's face turned a shade paler.
If I'd have told my mom sooner, you wouldn't be in here right now. Maybe we'd be at school; I've got no idea what time it is.
I didn't want you to be mad at me for telling her; I was scared you'd never talk to me again or something, and that was selfish of me.
I just wanted you to feel like you had someone you could tell everything to, and trust. I wanted you to know I was there for you.
And now, when it might be too late anyway, I can't even speak. I don't know where my voice has gone.
Sora continued to stare at the floor. Not once had he cried. He kept telling himself that he had to be strong, that he had to be there for Riku, like Riku was always there for him when he was sad.
Your blood… it's all over me. It's stained my hands, my arms, my clothes… I think that even after I wash it off, I'll still see it. The image of you on the ground scared and bleeding keeps playing over and over again like someone's switched my memories on a loop. I don't want that to be my last memory of you.
I actually want to go to school. I want this to just be a bad dream, and in a second I'll wake up and you'll be throwing stuff at my window.
No one's come out to tell us any news so I don't even know if you're okay.
For all I know, you might've died in my arms.
I can't react, and I don't know why. I should feel something, but I'm just staring like my gaze is glued to the floor. It feels like someone else has taken all my feelings and is using them to cry about their best friend instead, someplace else, and I'm just half a person sat here.
Ignoring the hospital staff flitting around, Sora's mother knelt in front of him and held his face in her hands gently, like she used to do when he was still small enough to fit in a pushchair and she wanted him to focus.
Sora, look at mommy!
Back then she'd had enough trouble trying to get him to focus on one stationary thing at a time, let alone herself, because he was so busy trying to look at everything at once; all the things that she found dull and boring and had seen a thousand times had been new and exciting to him. His eyes would scan over birds, rustling leaves in the trees, other people, insects… For her an insect had been just another nuisance to duck away from, but for him it had been a new excuse for him to make that sharp, excited cooing sound that babies do, his eyes growing wide as they filled with awe, his chubby legs kicking wildly in his pushchair.
Even now- if a particularly magnificent shell were to wash ashore or a warm sunset kicked in, or if he discovered a piece of clear colourful glass with its sharp edges smoothed and rounded by the tide -his eyes still filled with the same wonder. Unknowingly, he'd taught his mother to stop for a minute and marvel at the world.
Right now, however, he just didn't want to look at anything. His eyes were dull.
Still, he remained staring at the floor, right through her.
"Sora," she said again, firmly, "I need to get you home… okay? You need to get over the shock… and get some clean clothes… Come on… Even the nurses agree it's what's best… "
Sora just stood up mechanically, surprising his mother momentarily, because he just wasn't the little boy she remembered anymore.
I left my neck chain. You know the one I wear all of the time? I gave it to one of the nurses, told them your full name and made sure they're going to give it to you. Well, my mom's the one that did the talking… She knew that's what I wanted… All I managed to say was your name, and then I just… stared with the chain in my hands… It's like I'm somewhere else, like I've run away from my body so I don't have to face feeling anything.
Anyway, I want you to have the chain either way: If… if you're not okay, I still want it to be with you, because then it's kind of like I still am. And if you are going to be okay, you'll see it when you wake up and know that I was there. I know you hate feeling all alone. No one likes to be all alone, but I know that you especially don't.
You told me so yourself.
It was when we were little and we had a fight over something that I can't remember but I know were silly… and you made me cry. Then you gave me a leaf as a present and that made everything okay again; life was pretty simple then, huh?
After, we went to climb the paopu tree, and you asked me what my worst thing in the world was. I told you I didn't have a worst thing in the world, and you told me yours was being all alone.
I have a worst thing in the world now. It's losing my best friend.
Sora and his mother arrived home and found themselves amidst a large commotion. There were people everywhere; quite a few of them looked important.
Sora noted that the blood on the floor had been cleaned.
And something happened.
The fear of losing one of his best friends and all the good times they'd shared coming to an end triggered a memory.
A man with hair as wild and untameable as fire, jade green eyes tilted like a cat's, small tattoos resting on his cheeks and a wry smirk that always seemed to be there tugging at the corner of his mouth, even when he wasn't necessarily meaning for it to be.
'As long as we remember each other, we'll never be apart. Got it memorized?'
It happened sometimes. Those memories that were not quite his own; It was as if when he came into a situation similar to one that his Nobody had been in, it triggered some of his memories. He wondered if it had ever been the other way around.
It was true; as long as he, Riku, and Kairi remembered each other, they wouldn't ever be apart… but what if one of them were about to leave the world and they didn't get a choice about whether they remembered or whether they forgot? What then?
Sora's mother ushered him inside whilst she demanded to know what so many people were doing in their front garden, and he headed straight to the bathroom, discarding his clothes and stepping into the shower, shuddering momentarily when the water first hit his body.
He looked up, away, anywhere that wasn't the shower floor so that he didn't have to see the blood rinsing away, his gaze finally falling on the mirror; the image of himself slowly fading with the steam of the shower.
He flattened his hair, running both hands through it and stared at himself, absently studying the gentle but well-defined muscles in his arms and chest:
When did I grow up?
Fine, maybe he wasn't quite grown up, but he certainly felt like he was. He missed being a kid, that age when things like darkness and pain and sadness were still a little tricky to grasp, when the most serious thing of the day was if Riku remembered to bring the beach ball, or if his room was messy.
He could have cried right then, in the shower. No one would have known, perhaps not even himself, but somehow just blocking everything out was easier than crying. He sat down under the water spray, closing his eyes.