Sora didn't bother to put in an appearance come morning, content to remain out of sight where Roxas wouldn't see any sign of the last night's excursion. Despite his extended time possessing Roxas's body, Sora found that he actually retained much more of his strength than he'd expected, naturally boosted far above by the murder. He'd been content to rest through the last of the night, content to coast along the afterglow from the metaphorical high he'd had when he'd committed the act.
Unlike many, Roxas did not have a problem getting up in the mornings, though he did take his time. One of the advantages of this home was that while it was not as large as its neighbour, it was large enough that there was a separate bathroom not far from Roxas's room, meaning no need to worry about waiting for someone else. Sora left him to wash and explored several other rooms in the area, finding several unused bedrooms – either guest rooms, or room for any younger siblings Roxas might later have. Or any elder ones he might already have, Sora realized. A quick search of Roxas's memories, and a muttered remark from Roxas himself about it, revealed he had none. For now, he was an only child.
One of the main reasons Roxas's morning routine took time was, quite naturally, his hair. In many ways he wasn't too concerned about what other people saw, but he did have a vain spot for them. Sora idly wondered if he'd been the same in life, and if that vanity was the reason his own spiked hair was the distinguishing mark about him.
What intrigued Sora more though was the mirror – an ordinary mirror, except whenever Roxas looked into it and Sora wasn't present, his view changed, giving him the impression he was in a kind of mirror-world, looking out of the mirror at Roxas – who was in turn aware of him in the mirror, even going so far as to look behind him to see if Sora was really there. Sora found it interesting, not least because Zack hadn't seen Sora in the mirror even once. Something Zack lacked that he and Roxas possessed evidently made a difference.
Sora did a double-take. Him too? He'd thought that without even, well, thinking about it. There were no memories to back it up but he was nevertheless certain, he'd been able to see Evan in the mirror himself.
Once clean, Roxas paused again, this time to find something to wear. Despite the disaster-zone of his floor, this did not actually take too long. It was in actually deciding that he again took time, eventually settling on a bright red band shirt, one of only a few pairs of jeans in the entire room, and some plain trainers.
"You know Roxas, if I didn't know better I'd say you were human," Sora observed, appearing at last and once again on the table. "You certainly make a good case for looking like one."
"I know I sorta favour my humanity," Roxas shrugged, taking his appearance without concern. "Sometimes I feel it more than others. Mom doesn't approve of course, but she doesn't interfere. Most she ever says is that it's my life to live my way, and she reminds me to make sure whatever I decide is the right choice. You, for example, most certainly were not the right choice."
"You're welcome," Sora replied. "But you did know what you were getting into. I even told you."
"Yeah, I know. I don't even know how I managed to agree to this. Anyway, all this – it's not just because I feel more human today," he explained. "Today I got double Light first, double Fire after the break, then after lunch, Metamagic. So except for that, I'm gonna be in warm areas all day. Might as well be comfortable for it."
"Y'know, I kinda envy you," Sora said. "You actually get the choice. Me, I always look like this. Even the other Dark Children I've seen just have a brief pair of shorts like mine, and that's it. But then, we don't get too hot or cold, we choose whether stuff affects us – so I guess really it's just a case of modesty."
"Modesty? Really?" Roxas asked sceptically. "If all you get are shorts, what about the girls? Don't they get to cover up their-" he hesitated, turning slightly red. "You know."
"Yep, I know. Never seen it yet, but I only remember seeing one. Maybe they just don't care. How should I know?"
"Maybe you should try taking a leaf from real ghosts," he suggested. "They appear how they want to be remembered. Maybe that's why you kept your hair. So maybe if you thought about it hard enough..."
"Yeah, maybe I'll manage to kill someone through you too!" Sora said, deliberately jokingly, though he watched Roxas's reaction.
"In your dreams!" he snorted.
"I'm a Dark Child, I don't dream."
"Exactly," Roxas smirked. "Now hide, or at least remember you're not a Dark Child. Breakfast means Mom again."
"And she takes you in to the University too?"
"It sets her mind at ease," Roxas shrugged. "I've never had a problem in the mornings, but she likes to be safe. I guess I can't really blame her. Gonna stay around?"
Sora thought about it, then shook his head, "Just tell her I come when you call my name or something. Unless she wants me around, I'll wait until the University to show up again, and even then I'll probably leave you to it. Gotta see if I can find my old mate for you."
"At last, a reprieve from you," Roxas said theatrically, clearly knowing Sora would still be aware of everything going on around him. Sora just laughed and disappeared again, and then in the hidden silences of Roxas's own mind where his unknowing host wouldn't notice, Sora celebrated his perfect little coup. His own way of getting around Roxas without offending his sensibilities. It was perfect.
Roxas's mother did not find it surprising that Sora wasn't around for breakfast, or if she did she concealed her reaction. In fact, Sora noted, everything appeared to be as if last night's appearance had not happened at all. Had he been present this morning, Sora suspected that would have been different – but as it was, he chose not to intrude himself. Roxas needed at least a little time to go along as if Sora wasn't there.
Despite the largely Elven influence on the house and meals, breakfast itself appeared much like Roxas – apparently human. Nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary. Sora again tuned out and tried to remember his former life, anything about Riku. He'd found him once in an Illusion lesson on the Fire campus, but beyond that he had no idea where to find him. Unless he caught Riku on his way between lessons, Sora had a feeling it was going to take time to find him.
Nothing came, however. The usual random, disconnected fragments, but nothing he could use. Even the fragments were of little use, though he mentally recorded them, regarding them as a kind of jigsaw-puzzle. Perhaps if he recalled enough of them he'd be able to reassemble parts of his prior life, but he soon realized that was pointless, as every fragment appeared to be of a completely different memory.
To Sora's interest, Roxas made a quick return trip to his room after breakfast, picking up a device that had been attached to his computer – a small square device that fit neatly in the palm of his hand. He didn't need telling to find out what it was, as Roxas also picked up a pair of earphones, tucking them both away.
It gave Sora ideas. Perhaps Riku could help Roxas in more ways than he'd first thought. At a glance, Roxas didn't actually appear that much different from humans. What always set him apart was his work, his dedication to magic that caused other students to shy away from him. Maybe with a bit of prompting, Riku could help work around that. Once people realized Roxas really wasn't so different to them, maybe things would change for him. And once they did, he could likely do more without his parents being so concerned.
It was only as he thought through the potential results of this Sora realized that Roxas didn't actually have all that far to go with him. He was already planning acts that were out of character for a Dark Child, and he'd indulged in the odd good deed here and there already. All he needed was to face and overcome his two great needs – the need to kill, and the still fresh and definitely addictive feeling of living again. That wasn't likely to be something Sora wanted to give up lightly.
Neither Roxas or his mother said much on the way in, nothing beyond normal, ordinary things that had become commonplace. She dropped him off not far from the Light campus, just as she'd picked him up, only this time she gave him the additional remark, "Do not forget your new friend, Roxas. I hope he continues to do you good."
"No need to worry there," Sora told her, taking that as his cue to appear. "I will look out for him."
She simply nodded and pulled away, leaving the two of them to head further in to the campus, Roxas heading for the local noticeboard as he had no need to travel. Roxas simply took out the music player on the way, preferring to listen to it instead – though he did not yet turn it on.
He caught Sora's look and said, "It's an idea I had. If people think I'm listening to music, they might not think I'm talking to you. And if I get bored of of you, I really can listen to some music."
"And if I want to talk to you, I can just think to you instead. You can't drown me out remember. I'm always there."
Roxas didn't answer, waiting for a few other students to move aside so he could glance over the board. "Oh good," he murmured. "The after-hours classes are back again, and it looks like Peramba's going to be there. I can learn a bit more Thunder magic from him."
"Energy," Sora corrected absently.
"Same difference," Roxas said, then silently added, "We're on here too. Says there's a part of the Ignis campus that's off-limits due to criminal activity."
"Obviously they don't want to scare people off," Sora remarked. "Anything else of interest here?"
"Doesn't look like it. Why, what are you up to this time?"
"It kinda occurred to me that I don't actually know where to find my old friend, except when he's at certain lessons here – and I don't know exactly when he has those lessons. So I figure we're most likely to catch him at one of the busier hubs."
"Any flashes from your old life coming to your mind?" Roxas murmured, avoiding a student trying to elbow him out the way and making for the hub himself.
"Funny you should mention that, I've had the idea of the Wind hub on my mind."
"Wind? Well it'll busy alright this early in the day, but I don't reckon you'll find it easy to pick anyone out, not this early in the morning. At least it'll be easier on me. Less chance I'll be noticed, or that anyone will actually try anything."
"Just spell us over there already Roxas," Sora sighed. "I know you've got time until you need to be back here, so get me there and keep out the way so I can look for him."
Roxas's only answer was to start actually listening to music. Once he got to the Wind hub it was a simple matter for him to find somewhere out of the way, but in plain sight. Sora just left him to it and used the flight spell again to soar up above, trying to spot Riku.
From his vantage he saw that more than a few other Dark Children had had similar ideas to him, taking student hosts. Some didn't bother to appear, but their hosts still had the imperceptible difference that bespoke their likely unwanted tenants. Those that did appear frequently waved to him, and one even flew up to join him, another boy whose only distinguishing mark was, interestingly enough, an amulet he wore. Grey and dark like the rest of him, and likely not something he could remove as it was probably considered a part of him, but unusual nonetheless.
"Didn't think I'd see another who'd actually picked up magic," he remarked without preamble. "Haven't seen you round here before though."
"I picked up my host recently," Sora told him, still scanning the crowds. "I sorta gathered it wasn't really common for us to do magic, but apparently I was curious in life, and now I am in death too."
"Yeah, same for me. I was the one people came to for help with their homework, or so the other one said. What're you looking for?"
"Someone I used to know. Student named Riku. And don't tell me it's risky, I know it is. I'll threaten him into silence if I have to."
"I know the guy you mean. You'll wanna head over to the Water hub, Thursday's he's got that first thing. Helped out my own host once, even made himself late for his lesson for it, that's how I know."
"Yeah, that sounds like Riku," Sora laughed. "How's your host handling things?"
"Aaron? Badly. I don't show myself to him, ever. He knows I'm there, but I never say anything. I only make my move to kill someone. Word of advice for you – don't kill here at the Uni. They authorities get all over it way too quickly, and there's always talk of us for days afterwards. Anyone who even mentions us gets investigated, and you don't wanna be the one yanked outta your host – take it from me, I know! Anyway, gotta go – he's about to-" he vanished in mid-sentence.
"Charming," Sora muttered, following suit. "Water hub," he thought to Roxas, cutting over the heavy rock that was probably not doing his ears any favours. "I got a reliable source-"
"Another Dark Child, I know. I was keeping an eye on you. There's a ton of talk about what you did, you know," he added. "I paused the song long enough to hear what people were saying. Everyone's gossiping about a Dark Child killing."
"Don't indulge in it yourself," Sora warned him, recalling his own warning. "We don't want to call attention to yourself. Listen, but don't remark on it unless you have to."
"I'm not stupid, Sora," Roxas said irritably. "You don't have to keep reminding me what a stupid situation I'm in. Here's your stop," he added. "Don't be more than ten minutes or I'm leaving you behind."
There must be an absolute range on how far away he could go from Roxas. Sometime he'd experiment to find out how long his leash was, and if there were any effects that manifested on either of them from distance.
Again Sora took to the air, but this time he landed again almost immediately, spotting his quarry. Riku was once again happily chattering away with a number of students, one or two of which seemed vaguely familiar to him. Sora ignored them, willing Riku alone to notice him, stepping out from behind another student and gesturing imperiously for him to follow. Riku paled somewhat, but covered quick enough to avoid anyone noticing and quickly made a few excuses – returning the gestures and leading him away from the main crowds.
Once Riku had looked about to ensure things were clear, he stopped, crouching down to Sora's level and said, "What do you want, Sora?"
"Well that's nice. We used to be friends, Riku."
"Yeah, then you got turned into this. I don't blame you, but..." he gave Sora an almost searching look, then sighed. "You're not the same Sora I knew."
"Can't be helped," Sora shrugged. "But there's something you can help me with. Not a host, don't worry," he said quickly, feeling Riku's own fear of that. "But remember what I said last time? My new host... well, he doesn't have many friends, so he doesn't really have anyone to talk to about me. Can't say I blame him. Anyway, I figure you must have been that person for me-"
"So you want to put the burden on me again?" Riku asked. "Sora, it's barely a week after you were killed and less since things finally got back to normal for me. I don't want to sound offensive, but now I'm not having to worry about you all the time, I've got more time to work on my studies, and my grades definitely reflect that."
"Yeah? Well listen to this then," Sora said. "My new host, he's... got a certain aptitude with magic most don't. I'll let him decide if he wants to tell you about that. Not only that, I reckon he's got a good grasp of the theory, and he's taking on a whole load and still doing well. He's even got time to do whatever he wants, but since everyone just looks at him and sees a know-it-all sorta guy, he doesn't have any friends to do anything with. I'm betting if you approach him right, and maybe if I talk to him a little, he won't mind helping you out and keeping your grades up – maybe even raising them further. You'll be able to act as that outlet for him all at the same time."
"And for that, what? You'll promise not to kill me?"
"You don't have to worry there. Roxas has a plan that I gotta admit it kinda effective at stopping me. I've heard a little rumour I'm hoping he'll help me with though. There's this theory that we can exist without a host, without needing to kill. I reckon it means living directly off magic itself. Once I manage that, I don't pose any threat anymore."
"You better hurry up," Roxas's thought came to him. "It's almost time."
"Think about it, Riku. If you do decide to do this, come on over to the Light campus come first break. I'll get him to meet you at the hub, and I'll make sure you can see me."
"No promises, Sora," Riku warned. "If I don't show, just... give it time. I might show up later."
Sora took that as the best he could achieve for now, vanishing back to Roxas.
"We can go now," he told his host, then relayed the details. "He might be there, he might not – up to him."
"I can't say I blame him if he doesn't show," Roxas remarked. "But at least you tried."