Disclaimer: I do not own Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts, nor am I making any money off this fanfiction.
Special thanks to hesteen for beta-ing for me.
Happy Labor Day!
i. Rich Enough to Have Bodyguards ("And so fine, at that!")
Grind, grind, grind.
At this rate, Sora's teeth were never going to forgive him.
"Knock it off!" Sora wrenched himself free of Riku's lap and slid across the limo.
His upperclassman's eyes flashed a warning. "Do you think I'm joking around about your mom, Shiozu?"
"Nope." Sora straightened his clothes. He was getting sick of this treatment. He'd been planning on saving this argument for a few days, at the most, to spare his mother any trouble she didn't need right now, but enough was enough. "Let's be real, Riku. Could your dad really fire my mom over something like this?"
"Of course he can. He's the most powerful man in the city." The older boy folded his arms. "And the richest."
"Yeah. I know that. But he doesn't seem like the kind of businessman that would deal with the trouble of firing an employee over a watch that was easily replaced," Sora shot back. "On top of that, even if he did, and my mom sued, regardless of whether or not she won—" And who really knew, because Sephiroth Damenson was extremely powerful? "—he would have wasted all that time and money over his son throwing a temper tantrum!"
Riku shook his hair back. "Your point?"
Sora gaped at him. "Well, then, what the hell, Riku?! That's been your whole basis here, hasn't it?!"
"Fine. Obviously you're too smart to be bullied by methods like that one." Riku leaned back in his seat and sprawled his arms over the back of it. His expression was now one of lazy smugness. "So keep being my slave, or I'll have everyone in the school mark you for torture."
Grind, grind, grind. Sora clenched his shaking fingers into fists again. "I won't be bullied, Riku."
"Then why are you here right now?"
"Because!" Sora bit back the rest of his words. His mother had enough on her plate. She didn't need this asshole's crazy shenanigans on top of it. Suffering through Riku's spoiled rotten-ness was the least he could do for her, after everything she did for their family.
"Because what?" Riku frowned.
"It's none of your business!" Sora threw up his hands. "Look. Just let me out right here. I'm tired of this already."
"Oh, you'll be really tired of it once I have every guy in the school aiming to beat the shit out of you." Riku leaned forward, his green eyes turned menacing.
"You can't do that," Sora replied calmly. "You—"
"Oh?" the other boy cut him off. "And why not? You forget, Shiozu—I own this school. I am their king. They'll do whatever I say. And if I say for them to attack a dog who won't heel…" With a dramatic flourish, he drew his finger across his throat.
Sora's heart started to beat a little faster. Riku could make his life hell. He knew that. He just hadn't thought he would take it quite this far. "Stop threatening me."
"Or what?" Riku all but hissed.
The car door opened, and Sora jerked, fists flying up in a knee-jerk reaction to protect himself. He hadn't even realized they weren't moving.
A second later, a handsome face popped into the car. It was sullen, with gray eyes that rivaled those that appeared on the horizon just before a storm, downturned full lips, and a scar slashed diagonally across the bridge of a perfect nose. Shaggy brown hair framed it, brushing against the jaws.
Those eyes flicked from Sora dismissively, then narrowed once they landed on Riku. "There you are."
Riku sniffed. "Damn. I thought I lost you."
The young man pinched the bridge of his nose, eyes squeezed shut in what was unmistakably irritation. "It's my job to protect you, Riku. This would go a lot easier if you'd just let me."
"I don't need your protection," Riku snapped. "Father's overreacting, as usual. Why the hell do I need a bodyguard? I'm going to school. No one's attacked our family in at least four years."
The skin beneath the newcomer's eye twitched. Sora recognized that all too well. It was what his did whenever he was dealing with Riku.
"That's not for you to decide." The man sounded like he'd barely bitten back a scowl. "Your dad hired me. I'm just following orders, kid. You need to stop trying to bail on me."
"Let me handle this, Leonhart," said a new voice, and a gloved hand dropped onto Leonhart's shoulder.
A pause, and then a new head stuck itself into the door beside Squall's. Another guy, maybe a little older, with blond hair slicked back and acid green eyes. Sora couldn't see much of him past the broad shoulders taking up most of the doorframe and causing Leonhart to have to back out of the vehicle with an annoyed sound.
The blond lifted a hand, twisting it at the wrist. "Hello, punk," he drawled.
Riku stiffened. "Don't address me as 'punk,' hired help—"
"Oh, I'm wounded." The man put a hand to his heart. Then his lips curled back from his teeth. "Just like you're gonna be if you don't start following Daddy's orders. He pays us—not you. And he told us not to be afraid to knock some sense into you if he has to."
Riku drew back, clearly affronted. "Father would never—"
"And he's not here to say otherwise, now is he?" The man reached into the car, grabbing Riku by his tie and jerking him forward. "I've got two rules for you, Prince Punk. First…" The man lifted his free hand and ticked off a finger. "Tell me where the fuck you're going, at all times."
"Let me go right now or—"
"Second," the blond spoke over him, "if you make me chase you all over this city again, I'm going to kick your punk little ass." He released Riku and leaned back out of the car, then gestured to the other man standing on the curb. "He's all yours, Cupcake."
Brunet Bodyguard climbed into the limo and shut the door behind him. Sora got a flash of a pistol tucked up underneath his bomber jacket. It made Sora's pulse skitter uncomfortably, but he jerked his eyes away before 'Cupcake' noticed him staring.
Riku crossed his arms, irritation written all over his face. "God damn it, Squall. Can't I go one morning without you up my ass?"
Squall put his hands in his lap and looked out the window. "It's my duty as a SeeD to protect you at all—"
"Oh, shut up," Riku mumbled. Then, picking up his voice, "Driver? Move it." His eyes met Sora's across the limo, and they were saying that they weren't finished with this yet. It would be continued later.
ii. Cribs, Featuring Riku Damenson
Riku's manor came into view nearly half an hour later. It towered over everything else, blocking out the sun from the Sora's angle. They had to weave through the maze of manicured lawns first, and then pulled up the pristine white driveway, which looked like it hadn't ever seen an oil stain.
Fountains gushed freely. The sun would have been soothing, had Sora not come to think of this place like his jail/virtual hell. Several other limos were parked nearby, off to the side, ready for use whenever the masters of the house demanded it. Evergreen trees swayed in the breeze, but there were no flowers in sight. Sora found this curious. Most well-to-do places had gardens. So why was this one lacking them?
Squall hopped out of the limo first when it finally rolled to a stop. He scanned the area from the doorway, eyes slightly narrowed from what light had made it beyond the manor. It was a lot brighter outside than inside the vehicle, with its tinted windows.
"Oh, for crying out loud," Riku snapped. He shoved Squall bodily out of the way so he could exit the limo. "There aren't any snipers perched nearby, ready to take me out."
The man bristled. "We don't know that for sure—"
"Oh, let him get shot, Leonhart." The blond man from earlier strolled up the driveway, the gray trench coat he was wearing snapping behind him. It was fall, sure, but still a little too warm out for such a heavy garment. Obviously, however, the man didn't seem to mind the heat. He hadn't even broken out in a sweat. "Might teach the punk a lesson."
"What, respecting my elders?" Riku arched a brow. "Yeah, right. Fuck you, Almasy."
"Sweet," Trench Coat retorted. He tapped the roof of the limo, and a moment later, the chauffeur got out. "But not entirely unexpected…" He jerked his head at his brunet companion. "Want to check out the manor, so we can all get inside and continue this lovely conversation there?"
"I don't take orders from you," Cupcake said flatly.
But he turned and saw himself into the manor.
Sora took this opportunity to also exit the limousine. "Gosh, Damenson-sempai, you look pretty busy, so maybe I'll just head on home and come back later—"
His upperclassman grabbed him by the bicep and dragged him forward. Sora yelped, stumbling over his feet as he was made to follow the silver-haired boy. Almasy's eyebrows rose in amusement.
"Got yourself a boyfriend, 'Young Master'?"
"Fuck you," Riku said again.
"I'm not his boyfriend!" Sora felt the need to clarify. He didn't want the blond bodyguard to get any ideas.
"Then why are you letting him drag you around like that?" The words were said with challenge. Before Sora could answer, Riku had him inside and away from the ridicule of the tall blond.
Sora swallowed, considering those words. Because Riku had threatened to send the entire school after him to beat the shit out of him? It'd make any guy think twice about pissing Riku off. Besides, Almasy didn't understand the situation. Sora didn't need to concern himself with his opinion, then.
But still… the words sat sour in his chest. Maybe Riku was just bluffing…
"Come on," Riku said. "I'll show you to your room."
iii. Blessed by Royalty—Or What Counts For It
Sora's "room" could have fit three of his old ones in it—mostly because it was three rooms, a la something out of a castle. There was a mini living room, where a TV, a stereo system, and every gaming system conceivable were already set up. There was a plush leather couch, a coffee table, a fridge big enough to fit a twelve pack of sodas in… A carpet was set stylishly beneath the table, gunmetal gray, with matching curtains over a floor to ceiling window.
His feet led themselves into the next room, which loosely fit the term "bathroom." An old fashioned (in looks only) tub with huge, metal claws and big enough to support five people was set up against the far wall. A shower cubicle was nearby. There were two sinks at the counter, with open shelves beneath them, mounds of fluffy towels ready to be grabbed.
From there, a few more steps took him into his bedroom. A king-sized bed awaited him, with gargantuan pillows strewn all over it. The bedding was black and white, like something out of a modern housing magazine, and the entire ensemble was set in a four-poster. There was a desk near the bay window, a bronze-themed globe on top of it, along with any type of stationary he could ever possibly dream of needing. On the opposite wall were bookshelves, filled with the classics, things on Sora's considerable reading list for the year, and nearby was a magazine rack with everything from tabloids to Forbes.
"You're going to catch flies with that open mouth," Riku said from the desk. He spun the globe around, an eyebrow raised.
Sora shut his mouth. "What the hell, Damenson-sempai? Do you just have rooms like this set up for use in case you get a guest?" All of them? They were in a wing all the way across the manor from the front door.
"No." Riku wouldn't quite look at him.
"So is this just a well-furnished guest bedroom?"
"No." The other boy abruptly walked from the room. Sora stared after him a moment, then followed, not knowing what else to do with himself. When Sora was in step with him, Riku stuck his hands in his pockets and shrugged. "I don't have friends stay over that often. Aqua said you'd like these digs if I had them set up for you…" A pause, then Riku shot Sora a glare, rounding on him. "And you do. Right?"
Sora was still trying to process the "friend" bit of that sentence, never mind the rest of it. Riku's face was darkening by the second, so he said the first thing that came to mind. And, unfortunately, it was polite. "No, it's—great."
His silver-haired companion relaxed. "Hmph. I knew you would. Who wouldn't?"
Sora wanted to say, "Not me," just to spite him, but the damage had already been done.
"They'll bring your… stuff in later," Riku said, his lips curling back at the obvious thought of Sora's meager belongings. "We're having dinner in an hour. The cook will be really pissed if you're late, so don't be." With one last pointed glare, Riku excused himself.
Riku cared about what the cook thought? Sora found himself thinking.
Curiouser and curiouser.
iv. Remember, Sora: Get Sucked In, and There Goes Your Soul.
A full complement of clothes, courtesy of his prison guard. Sora stood in front of his mammoth-sized closet, frowning. Pressed uniforms to last at least three weeks, and that alone made his heart get ready to fail on him. One uniform was worth a hundred bucks. Sora had two—and he washed them so regularly, they were growing a little frayed at the edges.
What was worse than the uniforms were the clothes that cost even more. Shirts from top brand designers hung with their tags still on them. When Sora saw them, he made a noise in his throat and ran for the nearest window to launch his head out and get some fresh air. He was greeted by the sight of the backyard, where a brick-walled garden rose into the early evening sky, the many trees within blocking most of the view. Somehow, Sora doubted there were actual flowers in there, and that the garden was just that—in name only.
Bracing himself, Sora made himself go back to the closet. He had to see all the damage done. As casually as he could make himself, he tallied the costs for the clothes in his head as he rummaged through them. While they were awesome—of course they were, these Armani and Burberry graphic T's that cost a fortune—Sora just couldn't justify the cost. The thought of even wearing such things made him feel a little green around the gills. Yet he had a feeling Riku would insist upon it, with this companionship he'd forced on Sora.
Oi, Sora thought. Well, it could be worse. As a cruel joke, Riku could have actually put rags and chains in his closet.
But if he didn't dress himself 'properly' for dinner, Riku would give him hell. He could just hear it now. "Really, Sora? I have the good grace to invite you to dinner, and that's the shit you show up in?" Frowning, Sora eyed his simple red shirt and khaki cargos. He thought his clothes looked just fine.
Still, he rifled through the clothes, finding his fingers touching the garments almost… delicately. They were very expensive, and, even though he didn't want to admit it to himself, he was a bit in awe by them.
He pulled a simple blue button-down from a hanger. Simple, yet it screamed money. This was further confirmed when Sora shrugged the slip of cloth on. It fit him perfectly through his shoulders, clung to his chest to accentuate what little muscle he did have, and with one button undone and the collar popped, he looked like a million dollars. He'd had no idea that expensive clothes could mold to your body so well. Maybe it wasn't just the brand name that people paid for. Hm.
In his bathroom, he found a collection of hair gels. In fact, it looked like a manly salon in there. All sorts of shampoos and conditions and musky body washes, facial cleansers, a trendy razor for his face, aftershave gels… Impressed, he started sniffing the contents of each jar, and when he found a scent that suited him, he used it on his hair, taming his spikes into something more sophisticated to match the shirt he'd donned, along with a crisp, dark pair of premium denim. He was trying very hard not to think about the price tag. This pair was the least expensive one, and it was True Religion. When he'd seen the three and the two zeroes behind it, he'd choked on his spit.
If Cloud could see him right now, he'd be shaking with that quiet laughter of his.
Well, whatever. What else was he supposed to do?
Sticking out his tongue at his reflection, Sora slipped on his favorite sweatband on his wrist and set out to find some path to the dining room.
v. Is Riku Really Lonely, or Are You Being Manipulated, Sora?
He wandered the manor for a good portion of time before a slight, blue-haired woman stepped out from a corner and started in surprise at seeing him. Sora gave her a sheepish grin and tried not to fidget in his new clothes. He felt about as out of place as a needle pinned through a bolt of silk.
"I'm lost," he said.
The woman's brow rose. "I can see that." With a secretive smile, she put her arm around his shoulders and guided him in the opposite direction he'd been going. She was wearing clothing that suggested she had just come off set from some dark-themed movie about vampires or crime noir. A black turtleneck, black leather pants, black ankle boots. The only spot of color to her was her hair, cut to her chin, and her eyes, so bright and alert.
"Let me guess: bodyguard." She had the look of someone who could lay you flat in two seconds, all toned limbs in that slender figure of hers.
"Close," she replied, her smile never fading. "You must be Shiozu Sora. I'm Aqua Winterbourne. I'm Riku's chief attendant."
And if someone ever needs to get their ass kicked… "So why does he need Almasy and Cupcake?" Sora ventured curiously.
Aqua laughed. "Cupcake. You must have heard Seifer call Squall that." After a moment, she managed to compose herself. "Mr. Almasy and Mr. Leonhart are Riku's personal bodyguards, handpicked by Mr. Damenson himself. My place is here, in the manor, overseeing the house duties and Riku's welfare, especially while Mr. Damenson is away."
"What about his mother?" Sora winced after he asked it. What a thoughtless question.
The blue-haired woman pursed her lips in thought, as if debating what to say. She was saved when they came into a dining room, in which Riku sat at the head of the table, glowering at Sora. "Ah. Here we are." With a last pat to Sora's shoulder, Aqua stepped away to 'attend' to Riku.
"You're late." Riku put considerable stress on the word.
"I was lost," Sora countered with his own glare.
Electricity could have crackled between them, the atmosphere grew so tense.
Aqua lightly cleared her throat and gave a light clap of her hands. Seconds later, and maids began to file into the room, each carrying a covered dish, each a polished silver so shiny that Sora could see his reflection in one as it passed him.
"Dinner is served," Aqua announced. Then she bent down to pinch Riku's cheek with a wry grin. "And here, Master Riku, is your favorite side dish, collard greens."
Riku pushed her hand away with a sullen glare. "I hate those."
"I know," she said, straightening. "But your father left me in charge of the menu, and I do believe I said you would regret it if you crossed me last week when I told you not to go spying on Shio—"
"OKAY!" Riku said so loudly the maids all jumped. Until now, they'd been waiting on standby until they were dismissed, heads bowed, not a ruffle in their uniform out of place. "I get it! You're in charge of the menu!"
Sora had never seen Riku look quite so panicked.
With a sunny smile, Aqua patted his head like a puppy who had finally gotten it right after being scolded one too many times. Sora half-expected her to let out a, "Good boy," but she only said, "I'll be in the other room if you need me. Enjoy your meal." With a bow and another clap of her hands, she and the maids excused themselves.
Sora waited to speak until they were gone. "I hate collard greens, too."
Riku shot him a look, as if making sure Sora wasn't having a laugh at him. When Sora only blinked at him, Riku relaxed back into his chair—or was it his throne, with the way he owned it with his body?—as smug as he had been before Aqua's arrival. "Oh, yeah? I didn't think any sort of food was beneath someone who could barely afford it."
Grind, grind, grind. Sora clenched his hand around his spoon and resisted the urge to start flicking the greens across the table at that asshole. "Remind me why I'm here again?"
"Because I own you after you ruined my shit," Riku replied casually. He set about to eating his meal, oblivious to the serious hate vibes Sora was sending his way.
What an arrogant piece of— "Whatever, Riku." Sora felt that it was wiser at that moment to keep his mouth shut. It called to mind Almasy's taunt that he was Riku's boyfriend, nothing better than a pet dog, but he just wasn't in the mood for a fight. It had been a long enough day already.
It was with that thought that he tucked into his own meal, determined to walk the high road.
vi. Always a Challenge, Always a Problem
Shiozu Sora had made it through the night at Riku Damenson's place of residence. He would have made a fist pump and a victory jig, except for the fact that he hadn't really slept a wink. Bruises were under his eyes as he stuffed his messenger bag full of the books he'd need for today's classes, and there was a strange kink in his back from sleeping on so familiar a bed. It was almost too soft for his liking.
His stomach twisted at the thought of finding Riku and asking for how he was going to get to school. He presumed that they'd be taking the limo, but you could never be too sure, with the way Riku's whims went from one extreme to the other. So he found his way, miraculously, downstairs to the foyer, and was greeted by the sight of Almasy, Leonhart, and Riku, all conveniently grouped in one space.
Riku looked impeccably groomed, as usual. Today his hair was pulled back into a high ponytail, and his bangs fell artfully into his eyes. One hand was tucked into the pocket of his uniform slacks, a book cradled by that arm. The other hand was busy furiously texting on his phone, his brows drawn together in disgruntlement. Sora found himself privately cheering on whoever had managed to piss Riku off this early in the morning.
"Everybody assembled?" Seifer Almasy cracked the knuckles of his black-gloved hands. "Great. Troops: forward march."
"I don't take orders from you, asshole," Riku said without glancing up from his phone. "And we're not taking the limo today."
"Oh?" Seifer's smile was almost feline in its maliciousness. "Do tell us your grand plans, Your Royal Shithead."
Riku shook his bangs out of his eyes and pocketed his phone. "Leonhart, the keys?"
Expression one of great distaste, Cupcake handed over two sets of keys that jingled as they fell from his palm into Riku's now outstretched one. Riku tossed a pair to Sora, who barely caught it, fumbling in surprise.
"We're gonna race," Riku informed him with an anticipatory gleam to his eyes.
"Race?" Sora parroted.
The other boy rolled his eyes. "Yeah. Race. You know, that thing with sports cars and—"
"I know what racing is," Sora snapped impatiently. "But I don't have a license. And aren't you worried about speeding tick—"
"Leonhart will drive you, then." Riku handed back one set of keys. "Almasy, I guess you can ride in the passenger seat."
"Oh, no way, Jose. There's no way I'm riding bitch."
"Fine," Riku said airily as he walked past him and out into the bright sunlight of the front stoop. "Then I guess you'll be left behind."
Squall Leonhart shrugged at Seifer and gestured with a flicker of his eyes that Sora fall into step with him. Sighing, Sora did so, unable to believe this was actually about to happen. Racing to school. Yeah, because that wasn't completely dangerous in the morning traffic of the city. Not that Riku cared. The rules, as they were, didn't apply to him. Or so he thought.
I hope he gets a ticket, Sora thought somewhat viciously. He wasn't proud of his ire, but Riku was sorely testing the bounds of his patience.
Riku walked straight to a yellow and black Lamborghini without slowing. That left the red Ferrari gleaming in the sunlight, and Sora had to fight not to jizz right then and there in his pants. Sure, he didn't have his license, but that didn't mean he didn't know all about sexy cars. Climbing into the interior as Squall unlocked the doors for him was like a wet dream.
Sora ran his hand over the hard leather of the dashboard. The windows were tinted well past the legal limit, and the keys in Squall's possession were purely for show. He pressed a button by the steering wheel, and it purred into motion, barely vibrating beneath them as Squall took them down the driveway.
The bodyguard shot him an amused look, but said nothing.
Sora didn't care. He'd never thought he'd ever get a chance to sit in one of these in his life.
"The rules are simple," came Riku's voice from a tiny speaker. Sora jerked at the sound of it, searching for its source. He found it wedged between the two seats in the form of a radio. Squall gestured that he take it, so Sora did, frowning at it.
He pressed the button for talking. "Really, Damenson-sempai? A walkie talkie?"
The radio chirped as it relayed Sora's message.
"Don't get in an accident. Other than that and we're good. Father's on good terms with the police. We'll start once we reach the first traffic light on Madison. Agreed?"
Sora looked to Squall. Squall gave a nearly imperceptible nod.
"Uhm, yeah…" Sora replied. "All good here." Then, almost as an afterthought, and for Squall's ears only, "Has it occurred to you that a fiery death from a car accident isn't exactly what Damenson-san had in mind for his son when he hired you guys as bodyguards?"
Squall just shrugged.
It took nearly ten minutes to actually reach traffic, and then they were shifting into position, Riku revving his engine and grinning at Sora while Seifer's head was bent over his phone, his fingers furiously moving over the touch screen. Maybe writing his last will and testament? Sora couldn't blame him, and wished he had thought of that, but his phone was safely away in his messenger bag at his feet. Too late to do anything about it now.
Seifer Almasy, without looking up from his smart phone, lifted a wrist, then bent it forward, fingers straight out: a clear sign for a checkered flag waving it was time to go.
One second, Sora was musing over who might actually win, the next second, he was yelling and clutching at the oh-shit handle of the Ferrari as Squall burnt rubber peeling off from the starting point. Squall was intent on his task, one hand on the wheel, the other arm resting on the windowsill, his eyes narrowed.
"Shouldn't both your hands be on the wheel?" Sora asked as he tugged at his seatbelt to make sure it was firmly in place.
In answer, Squall swerved down a street not quite as busy, leaving Riku and Seifer on the main pathway. Sora cursed and gripped at his door now, his body sliding across the slick leather of his seat. He was snapped back into place after Squall recovered from a fish tail and went flying forward at close to 100 miles an hour.
A young couple shrieked and dove out of the way, and the Ferrari clipped a trash bin outside a business for recycling when Squall took it up a little on the sidewalk to avoid an elderly man trying to cross the street with a cane in hand. They blazed through a stop light amidst the wild honking of horns. Three blocks later, the hired guard flew around another corner, knocking Sora into the window.
How they hadn't attracted the police, Sora had no idea. "What, Leonhart-san, no cops, no stop?"
"The fuck did you go?" Seifer's voice crackled over the radio.
Sora didn't bother to pick it up. Not when he was still holding on for dear life.
"Seriously, Cupcake, did you take a fucking shortcut?"
Suddenly, they were back on the direct road to their private school. More cars blared on their horns. But for all Squall noticed, it might as well have been mass on Sunday. Sora took a little bit of comfort in that. At least the whole of Squall's attention was on actually making it out of this alive—and winning. Couldn't forget about the winning part of this.
Sora's eyes rounded as they reached the school's student parking lot and found a bunch of girls decked out in full pom-pom glory, or with flags, waving them to the finish line. Said finish line was painted on the ground, black and white checkers to match those flags. The girls screamed, jumping up and down, and the few boys gathered clapped their hands.
Squall pulled up to the curb and unlocked the doors.
The second Sora shakily stepped out of the vehicle, he was bombarded by YRP—Yuna, Rikku, and Paine. The last girl of the group was more accurately standing off to the side, arms folded with a bored expression, but Sora always clumped them together. Hell, they'd given their group a name, after all.
Sora was just grateful Yuffie wasn't there.
"Oh, that was so cool, Shiozu-kun!" Rikku was holding onto his arm and shaking him in her excitement.
Yuna giggled in agreement. "We really thought Riku-sempai would win!"
"Was it fun?" Paine drawled.
"Uh… yeah…" Blushing for reasons he couldn't figure out, Sora rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. "I mean, kinda…"
"Kinda?" Yuffie Kisaragi was on the scene, pompoms brandished in their usual weapon position. "You had the honor of driving in Riku-sempai's Ferrari and all you have to say is kinda?! What kind of crap is that?!" She feinted at him with her fists.
Tidus and Selphie arrived shortly after, and Sora allowed them to pull him away from the fan club with gratitude. Yuffie scared him. Probably not in the way she wanted, but still.
"Awh, Sora, that was so cool!" Selphie gushed.
"I'm jelly, bro," Tidus admitted grudgingly. "I've been trying to get a Ferrari forever, but my dad keeps saying it's a no-go."
Sora was about to respond when more high-pitched shrieks broke out behind him. The three turned to see a sour-faced Riku stepping out of the Lamborghini, his eyes cutting through the cluster of students until they found Sora. The level of annoyance in his eyes made Sora flinch, but he caught himself before he took a step back and straightened to his full height. It wasn't very considerable, sure, but he wasn't going to back down.
The taller boy stomped over to him, and the girls fell back in what reminded Sora of waves rolling away from the shore. Riku stopped a foot away from him, and he swung an arm. Sora had his messenger bag raised as a half-weapon/half-shield before he realized that he wasn't being attacked. No, indeed, that would have been more preferable.
Riku had just wrapped his arm around Sora's shoulders, and was now pulling him into his side.
"My boyfriend beat me today," Riku announced as his adoring fans quieted at the sound of his raised voice. "But next time, I'll definitely win."
And then, right the fuck in front of everyone, he kissed Sora directly on the lips.