Hello! After a long vacation (that I hadn't really anticipated returning from, to be honest) I somehow managed to convince myself that posting this wouldn't be a horrible, horrible idea. I'm not sure how right I am about this, but one never knows. ^^

While I'm here, I submit a shameless plug: If you're interested, I also have a new link to my homepage up on my profile. It's actually a link to my Etsy account, in which I sell custom made plush dolls. I can accommodate most requests, so if you're interested, send me a message either there, or through a PM. This girl has got to pay for graduate school somehow!

Notes about some minor details: This takes place a few years post KHII.

Riku is between 20 and 21, and Sora is between 19 and 20.

Warnings: Contains slash kinda-sorta, but less so as the story goes on. If Riku and Sora kissing bothers you, I don't anticipate you liking this fic very much. :P

Sora angrily rocked back and forth on his heels.

The boards of Riku's creaky porch hissed and moaned underneath his feet, and he found himself furious at him for several reasons. How many times had he suggested that he and Riku find a few spare days during the summer to pull up the old boards and put a down some newer ones, perhaps of a different shade of varnish? He didn't live with his parents, so asking for permission wasn't even an excuse that Riku had the luxury of offering at this point. The fact was that Riku was just lazy, and he didn't care about simple, aesthetically pleasing modifications, or even the frustration of his best friend as the creaks and squeaks beat steadily at his eardrums.

Then of course it was a somewhat hot day when all of this had to transpire, too. Of all the days in the years since the two of them had come back, Riku just had to suggest today? The island wasn't subject to particularly harsh winters, it being tropical and all, but the weather did maintain a tolerable temperature during the winter, even if it was only a few degrees cooler than it was in the summer. At the very least he wouldn't be standing outside on Riku's porch—the porch with the creaky boards—staring daggers at the door, and sweating like a pig on a rotating spit. He supposed part of the date was largely the fault of Kairi, but he wasn't currently waiting for her to come and answer the door. I fact, he was hoping for quite the opposite...

He fought the urge to beat against the door again. Riku could have had the courtesy to be on time,but he supposed that the idea simply must have been toomuch to ask of the mighty Riku. It wasn't as if he was asking him to meet him at the shore, or even the secret cave that the two of them visited occasionally to check as a precautionary measure. Sora thought that being on time to his own front door would be a relatively simple task, but perhaps he had overestimated Riku's regard for other people's time.

He decided that he would beat the door again. If Riku hadn't heard him the first twenty one times, then he was sure going to hear him the twenty second.

The door was still, and Sora was about to rip the hinges clean off of the structure, stomp right up to Riku's room and pull on his mop of overgrown silver hair until he knew just how little Sora felt like playing games.

That was another thing about Riku that Sora was angry about. Sure, Riku didn't spend more than a few moments grooming himself for the day, as personal maintenance had been somewhat immaterial to both of them during their conquests, and had yet to regain it's previous rank on the scale of importance, but he could have at least put some consideration into the length of his hair. Since the two of them had returned from saving the worlds nearly five years ago, he could have at least attempted to cut it to a more manageable length. Before, Sora had to all but drag him to get the ends chopped, and a few times the length had to be remedied at home by Sora's force of will, a chair placed in the center of Riku's kitchen, a pair of kitchen scissors ,and a towel draped around the shoulders of his unwilling subject.

And then there was the fact that Riku had a house in the first place...

Sora rammed his fist against the hard wood of the door again, this time eliciting a sharp sound from the tortured wood. If Riku didn't hurry up and get his sorry self down the stairs and to the front door within a matter of minutes, he wasn't going to have a door anymore.

Sora glanced over his shoulder, and his blood started to run cold. All the time he had spent mentally scolding Riku for all of his faults, he had completely forgotten why he was in such a hurry in the first place.

Kairi didn't appear to be anywhere near Riku's house, but one could never be too sure about that girl. She was stealthy and cat-like. She may not have been especially skilled with the keyblade, but her movements were often undetected, and she was an inherent master of emotional warfare, whether she wanted to be or not. It was one of the offensive mechanisms that came with being a woman, Sora decided.

The important thing was that she was nowhere to be found. If she saw him furiously pounding on the door of Riku's house, he would more than likely be questioned, and the explanation would just be catastrophic. Kairi could not know what he was doing.

He rubbed his arms at the thought and decided to focus on something slightly more positive, like beating a mental image of Riku about the face and neck with his fists.

He and Kairi had been a couple for nearly four months. It wasn't a significantly long amount of time, but the time that their feelings had been officially declared had been special to both of them. The two of them had spent a number of years admiring each other from afar, as all three of them needed a while to recuperate from the stressful and emotionally draining events with the King, Donald and Goofy. They had mutually agreed that a relationship of any serious nature was not a good idea given their emotional vulnerabilities. Making a commitment too soon would have been disastrous for all parties involved. They had decided to wait a few years until all of them had settled their emotions satisfactorily before pursuing any romantic relations.

Then, about four months ago, Sora had worked up the courage to ask her out, and the rest was history. He and Kairi had been quite happy together, and the relationship was going very well. Sora wasn't quite sure what Riku thought about the whole thing, as his friend had been somewhat hard to read since they had returned, but he had hoped that the apathy that his friend had showed, and at times the complete and total dismissal of the issue altogether were just Riku's ways of accepting it...maybe?

There was a problem though, and it had reared its ugly, lip-shaped head nearly a month ago. Sora had just swept the matter underneath the rug, hoping it would just disappear altogether. It worked for a little while, but eventually, it rose up again, occupying his thoughts as he watched the ocean lap against the shore in the morning, chasing him around his dreams at night, and smacking him across the face every time he looked at Kairi's smiling face.

Sora had never actually kissed her.

To be more specific, Sora had never actually kissed anyone before.

The thought made his cheeks redden, and he channeled his embarrassment into another furious knock on Riku's door.

It wasn't that Kairi was nagging him about the issue, after all she seemed perfectly content with just spending time with him on the small island, or walking with her fingers laced with his as they strolled about the beach. Kairi wasn't a complaintive person anyway, and he doubted she would ever voice the issue. But he could see it in her eyes when he stood on her porch at the end of the day. He could see the slight twitch in her lips, the glimmer of longing in her eyes as she smiled at him, and he could feel it in her muscles as she gave his hand a loving squeeze.

What respecting couple didn't kiss after a four month relationship? The two of them had hugged several times, and they held hands nearly every time they came into contact with each other. But those were practices that had taken place during their friendship. He was even prone to hug Riku every now and then. The two of them needed a special gesture to mark their new relationship; something for the two of them to share, something that that was an exclusive mark of the Sora and Kairi couple.

But who could blame him? Sora thought, trying to justify himself. Before he had been whisked away to fight heartless and defend the worlds from being swallowed up by the darkness, he had spent his time being friends with girls, not pursuing them romantically. In fact, he had just been starting to think that relationships of that nature weren't disgusting (sexual education had left a pretty sizable scar). He hardly had the time to consider the issue as he was trying to rescue his friends, and he certainly didn't waste his time thinking about things as trivial as kissing when Xemnas and the Organization were destroying everything that he knew and loved. Now that he was back, he had only recently considered romantic affection, and he had yet to uncover the secret art of kissing. It was slightly embarrassing that he was this old and still hadn't put his lips anywhere near another set, but he supposed if people brought the issue up, he would just have to violently remind them that he saved their lives without giving a second thought to his own safety...

He pulled his wrist back for another fierce knock before he finally heard the winding of mechanisms in the doorknob. The door opened slowly, and a droopy-eyed Riku appeared through the crack in the door. "Sora?" His voice was deep and raspy.

"Yes it's Sora," he hissed, checking over his shoulder absently for any sign of Kairi. "You had better have a good explanation for keeping me out on your doorstep for this long!" He was practically shouting, but he had to remember to keep his voice down. Kairi did live just a few houses away.

Riku quirked an eyebrow, then rubbed his eyes. "What are you doing here?"

Outrage took over his features. It was Riku's suggestion that the two of them meet that day. How he could have just forgotten was beyond Sora, and furthermore it was completely inexcusable. "You told me to come over here! What were you doing?"

Riku blinked again, moving away from the doorway to grant Sora access into his house. "I was asleep."

"How could you be asleep? I have something important to talk to you about!"

Riku steadily rubbed his eyes with his hands. "Probably because it's seven in the morning."

"...You didn't give a specific time."

Riku regarded him with a yawn and then sat down heavily on his couch.

Sora slammed the door closed behind him. He then followed up the gesture with the furious tapping of his left shoe. "Are you ready, or does Princess Riku need a few more minutes to get it together?"

Riku responded with another yawn, and then stretched. "No, no. I'm good." He ran a hand up his forehead to brush his long bangs out of his eyes, and then let them fall back in place; the tips brushing the bridge of his nose.

Sora was disgusted. Maybe he was over rather early, but Riku hadn't bothered to give any preferences about the time that he came over. He had simply approached him the evening before with a request to speak with him about an issue, and Riku had suggested that he come over the following day. Sora may have conveniently left out the urgency of it, after all, he needed all the time he could get to prepare himself for the emotional berating he was more than likely going to receive from his older friend, but Riku knew that he was coming over none the less. He could have at least granted him the courtesy of being properly dressed before answering the distressed call of his positively frantic friend.

Sora wrinkled his nose. Riku hadn't even bothered to comb his too-long mop of hair. It hung in a tangled mess over his shoulders, and a particularly ridiculous looking lock hung awkwardly over his left eye. He hadn't even bothered to make his attire presentable either. He was still clad in his pale blue pajama pants and white T-shirt. Sora supposed that he should have been grateful, after all his own choice in sleep wear was a pair of boxer shorts and a blanket, and seeing Riku answer the door in something similar would have bee downright inexcusable, but the lack in preparation for his visit was still grating heavily on Sora's nerves.

He rolled his eyes and surveyed the mess that was Riku again. He let out a sigh. "You should go take a shower or something."

"Really? You're going to let me?"

"I know. You should feel grateful."

"I assure you, I do." He grumbled a little as he pulled himself off of the couch and ran a hand through his hair again. "I'll be down in fifteen minutes. Try not to destroy anything while I'm gone."

"I'm not going to destroy anything."

Riku didn't even turn around as he mounted the stairs. "Tell that to my front door."

Sora didn't bother to respond. Instead he just scowled as he watched him ascend the staircase.

As he waited, he decided to sit on the couch. He sank into it and let out a sigh. It had only been a few minutes, but he was already feeling stressed out. He doubted Riku would make too much fun of him, but he still dreaded telling him that he had never kissed a girl, furthermore that he was worriedabout it. But Riku had gotten a lot more passive since his return, and now it was almost impossible to surprise him with anything. Part of him was grateful, but another part had wondered just what horrid things he had been exposed to in the darkness to change his personality so much. He supposed that both of them had changed though, and he found it best not to focus on the causes of which for the time being. Both of them had decided quite a long time ago to keep the more...unsavory aspects of their travels out of their minds.

Sora sighed again, and glanced down at the pillow cushions, immediately beginning to chuckle. Despite how angry he was about Riku not opening the door, the space between them reminded him of how long the two of them had spent picking the sand crabs out of the couch cushions, and other crevices in Riku's house. Since Sora actually lived with his parents, they had stayed around to take care of the place in his absence, but since Riku's parents had vacated the island some time before their adventures had even started—Sora was partial to think that this was one of the reasons Riku was so restless—the house had gotten overrun with the little creatures. It had taken almost two days to clear the area from crabs, bugs, dust, and sand that had blown in. It was a little depressing, but spending the time together had been something that the both of them not only enjoyed, but needed. They hadn't seen each other in so long, and over the past four years, their relationship seemed to have gotten stronger than it ever had.

It was awkward at first, but doing simple things like cleaning out Riku's house, replacing the shingles on the roof, or just walking along the beach together had made their reunion easier, and ultimately better. It was one of the reasons he was at Riku's house and not Tidus or Wakka's. If he could trust anyone to find a solution to this problem, Riku was it.

Moments later, the person in question walked down the stairs rubbing his head with a towel. "Okay," he said with a sigh. "What's the big emergency?"

"You sure took your sweet time!"

"I wanted to smell good." He grinned. "What is it?"

Sora kept silent as he watched Riku head into the kitchen, his once prominent limp now barely visible. He wanted to word it properly to avoid as much humiliation as possible. "Uh, well, a situation has kind of come up."

"What kind of a situation?"

"Um," he followed Riku and sat at one of the chairs at the counter. It wasn't that he thought saying it would be easy, but it had gotten considerably more difficult after he had started talking. "Well, it's kind of about...Kairi and me."

Riku grumbled a bit before rummaging around in the pantry. "What, are you breaking up?"

"Potentially...if we don't resolve this, that is."

He stopped hunting, and leaned over on the counter, tipping his head to the side. "Well, this sounds serious. You might want to tell me what it is."

"It's not that easy."

"It isn't?"

"No! Of course it isn't. It involves careful wording, the utmost care and consideration...if necessary, beating around the bush."

"...Or you could just tell me."

"There's that, but being frank just seems so...so..."



He rolled his eyes. "I refuse to believe you came over here at seven in the morning, waking me up, mind you, to discuss the value of how you're going to talk to me about whatever it is you wanted to talk to me about."

Sora looked up at him sheepishly. "To be fair, you never gave an exact—"

"Let's move past that, okay?"

Sora fidgeted a little more and set his gaze on his lap. His knees were somehow far less intimidating than Riku's eyes, and keeping his mouth shut was far more comfortable than speaking about the issue any further.

He did come over there for a reason, though, and sitting there avoiding it wasn't going to do anyone any good; not Kairi, not himself, and not Riku. Slowly, he looked upward. "Um...fine."

"Okay, shoot."

"Riku...when was the first time you kissed a girl?"

He blinked in surprise. That was certainly something he hadn't thought about in a long time. "Uh...I dunno." He looked towards the ceiling. "Probably... sixth grade. Why?"

"Did you like it?"

He shrugged and leaned against the counter. "It wasn't anything worth remembering, if that's what you mean. I liked her, she liked me; I kissed her on my way home from school. We forgot about each other a week later."

"Oh. Have you kissed anyone after that?"

"Yeah. Why is this important?"

"...So...you're pretty experienced?"

Riku arched an eyebrow. "Uh, not by some standards, but, you know... anyway, you still haven't answered my question."

Sora let out a heavy sigh and folded his hands. He could already feel his face and the tips of his ears burning. "Riku, I've never kissed anyone before!"

He stood silent for a moment as he took in Sora's expression. Then he shrugged. "It's not really that big of a deal."

"Of course it's a big deal! How am I supposed to kiss Kairi if I don't know how to?"

Riku bristled a little, but tried his best to suppress it. Sora on the other hand was feeling even more embarrassed than he had when he had first brought the subject up. He had hoped that Riku would be able to help him out somehow, but he still felt uncomfortable knowing that he knew the specifics, after all, relationships were supposed to be somewhat intimate...

Awkward didn't even begin to cover what he was feeling as he tried to look up.

Riku was the first to say something. "You...you want to kiss Kairi?"

Sora thought caught the faintest hint of a choking sound from Riku's throat, but he dismissed it as a figment of his imagination. More taxing things were occupying his mind anyway, like how he really didn't want to discuss this. "Yeah," he said, trying to sound calmer. "Isn't that what normalpeople do?"

"Well, you're right. I just meant...never mind." He looked at Sora again with a neutral face. "Did she ask you to?"

"Uh, not directly, no. But don't you think it's just something we should be doing? It has been four months."

Sora thought he saw a cringe this time, but it was gone in a flash. Riku sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "You're right. Okay, what do you want me to do?"

"Well, I just kind of hoped you could...give me some pointers, you know, instruct me or something."

"There really isn't that much to it. Just aim and press."

"There has to be more to it than that."

"No, there really isn't."

Sora felt somewhat defeated. He had not just done all of that fretting over something that wasn't a big deal. At the very least Riku could have lied, if only to make him feel like his worries hadn't been pointless.

Riku had to have been wrong. If kissing wasn't such an important thing, then every teenager running around Destiny Islands wouldn't have gotten the lecture from their parents. Sora remembered paying very little attention to his own lecture—he might have been watching television at the time. He remembered middle school when kissing was the most important activity a person could participate in. It marked the end of social awkwardness, and the beginning of adulthood! He hadn't been interested in girls himself back then, but he remembered the fuss Tidus and Wakka made over the whole thing. Riku had seemed somewhat apathetic about the whole thing, too way back then, yet he clearly had his fair share of lip-locking if the answers to his questions had been any indication.

The whole saving theWorlds adventure had pretty much denied him of any time to appreciate it for what it was, and he was just now trying to figure out what he was supposed to do and how he was supposed to feel about it. Was Riku implying that he had missed the point in life where kissing was important? He thought things like that were supposed to be timeless!

He spared a glance in Riku's direction, and it appeared as if he was having some sort of internal battle with himself while staring blankly at a wall across the room. He decided to try again. "Fine, then if it's so easy, explain it to me."

Riku chewed his lip, appearing as if he hadn't heard him at all. He blinked, though, and turned around. "What? Oh, right. I thought I already did."

"'Aim and press' are the same instructions you use for firing a torpedo. I'd like some more details, please."

Riku fidgeted a little. "Uh, okay. You just kind of lean in, and push your lips to whoever else's...and kind of...do it."

"How do you keep from bumping noses?"

"Turn your head."

"Which direction?"

"Whichever one is comfortable."

"How do you know what's comfortable?"

"You just kind of...figure it out."

"Riku!" Sora cried, nearly coming out of his chair. "It would be a little awkward switching positions over and over again in the middle of the kiss! What if I can't decide? What if I get a cramp in my neck? Wouldn't that ruin the experience forever, and—"

"Sora, relax." Riku smiled, putting a hand on his friend's shoulder. "You're just kissing Kairi. It's not like you're trying to climb a mountain. If you just calm down, everything will be fine."

"Are you sure?"

"...It's my obligation as your friend to tell you that, yes."

"Riku!" He swatted him on the shoulder, to which Riku responded to with a chuckle.

"I was just kidding. Yes, you'll be fine."

Sora was still unconvinced. "How can you say that? You still haven't adequately explained it to me!"

Riku sighed, playing with the end of the towel draped around his shoulders. "Well, I can't really give you better explanation..." Then something clicked in his mind, and it was visible on his face. "Unless..."

Sora looked up at him hopefully, and even clasped his hands together for effect. "Unless what?"

Riku looked uncomfortable for a collection of seconds. Sora realized he was having another internal battle, and he was tempted to tell him to put it on the backburner until later. If he had any advice whatsoever, he had better spit it out, and quickly. He didn't have time for Riku to feel indecisive. "Out with it!"

"Well," Riku shook his head, making his shorter locks of hair brush against his shoulders. "It's probably not a good idea, but it would help you out..."

"Well what's the problem then? Let's hear it!"

Riku looked uncertain again, and let out another sigh as he looked Sora awkwardly in the eye. "You could..."

"I could..."

"You could...practice on me."