Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Type: general fiction, a hint (very tiny, tiny hint) of slash
Characters: Riku, Sora
Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes. The first half hour was spent trying to figure which fandom I was going to write for. The last fifteen minutes was trying to find a title from songs that had something to do with innocence or hearts. You know.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything Kingdom Hearts. I am making no profit from this. I also don't own Pearl Jam, but I love them and would love to own them. Was that out loud?
Summary: After Sora finds Riku behind the door he insists that his friend lives with him, but things are not going as he'd hoped.
But now here you are and here I am
The darkness could breed many things like hatred, mistrust, and anger.
Riku had been stewing in the darkness for months. His rescue had taken him from that, but it would be many months more before he would feel any relief.
The dark tormented him; the nightmares plagued him. The light was no relief, it was too bright to tolerate now. He stayed inside all day and slept, coming out only at night when his eyes felt comfortable.
He hadn't wanted to stay with Sora. There was still tension between them, things that couldn't be resolved with a simple brave action and a long in coming rescue.
This was his fault. It had been his choice. Riku knew that and the anger boiled hotter because of it. He wanted to leave the island more than any of them. He dragged Sora into this. He talked Kairi up until her ears rang with thoughts of the outside world.
He stayed behind the door. That was his burden, his penance for all the wicked deeds that had been for love.
If the path to hell was paved with good intentions, Riku was already buried and burning.
Today was going to be one of those days where he tried so very hard to bite back everything he wanted to say to Sora. He could feel the words just sitting under his tongue and waiting for his mouth to open. Maybe if he didn't say anything at all he could keep all those words from coming out.
Sora wasn't being cooperative in this effort. All the time he was saying things like: "tell me about it. Tell me how you feel. Tell me why you did it."
Today he decided to bring up their separation. He was sitting at the dinner table, a blue, chipped coffee mug in hand and a wary look on his face. He had prepared breakfast for them, as he did every evening when Riku finally rolled out of bed.
Riku picked at his bacon, rolling it into the yellow juice spring from the center of his eggs. He hated runny eggs and Sora knew that. He picked up his own mug, perfect and was very tempted to throw it off the wall. If it didn't shatter then they'd have a matching set of chipped mugs.
Finally he looked up and found Sora staring at him. A moment of silence passed and there was no explanation for the looks they exchanged. Sora's face was hard to read, had been in the weeks of Riku's return. He had hardened over the long months apart, grown and changed. It was difficult for Riku to really look at him now. The guilt would come stabbing back over the boy he'd known and the man who now sat before him, a stranger.
Sora couldn't let Riku see what he was really feeling. These days it was mostly fear. Living with his best friend for weeks and having exchanged only a few words, vague and mostly unimportant, had taxed him emotionally. He was terribly afraid of what Riku might say next, terribly afraid that his friend was no longer a friend. The worst fear was one he wouldn't dwell on or ever speak of.
He didn't want to keep the casual conversation rolling. He wanted to pour his guts out, even if that meant they'd get stepped on. He took a deep breath and Riku shook his head into his coffee.
"I don't want to have whatever conversation you're working your courage up to," the older boy said.
Sora huffed, visibly ruffled. "Tough. We're talking today about more than just the weather and how much you hate my eggs."
Riku laughed at that, upsetting his mug and spilling some coffee over his robe and onto the floor.
"I've been wanting to tell you for weeks now why I teamed up with Donald and Goofy and not you."
Riku remained silent waiting for Sora to continue on. Sora waited for Riku's approval. "Well go on," Riku said in frustration. "You want to talk so badly, talk."
"Well..." Now he was dumbstruck. He had it all planned out, every word and the exact framing of each sentence. He'd been practicing in the morning hours while Riku slept, running over the expected reactions and the many possibilities this conversation could open up. This was the most important thing he had to tell his friend.
Riku waited, mulling over the sharp taste of caffeine. Not only were his eggs horrible, but Sora made the strongest, most bitter coffee. He had to be the champion of bad breakfast.
"I didn't choose them over you. You have to know that."
"I don't know anything, Sora," Riku replied sullenly.
"Well I'm telling you the truth. They just happened to be there and I needed them. I was going to fight to have you come along and then you just disappeared. At the time it was just enough to know you were alive."
Riku wouldn't meet his eyes. This was something else that had been bothering him for weeks. Not talking was one thing. Not being able to look at him was completely another.
Sora continued, knowing his friend would make no response. "I decided to fight for Kairi because I knew you were safe. I would've fought alongside you had things been different."
"I don't need your excuses Sora," Riku said quietly.
"I'm not giving you excuses. I'm trying to make things right between us."
"Things will never be like they were."
"I didn't think they ever could be," Sora replied earnestly. "I don't want to go back to that. I just want you in my life again. And not like this where you can't talk to me or look at me. I want my friend back Riku."
Riku finally looked at the boy who had grown into a man without his notice. He had the fine lean muscles of someone who had to fight to survive every day. He had the scars on the outside and the inside to prove how he had become so strong. He was strong enough to withstand anything Riku could throw at him.
But Riku didn't want to throw anything at him. He wanted to rush to his side and hold him, the way he'd been wanting to hold him ever since they left their island. He wanted to heal all of those wounds, many of them won because of his own foolishness. Many of them received when he decided to fight his friend in order to save the universe.
Riku's eyes closed. He took in a deep, steadying breath.
He stepped over to the young man who had been his best friend. He looked deep into those shining blue eyes, so filled with terror and disappointment. He remembered a time when they shone with the innocence and joy of youth. He could remember looking into them without seeing the ravages of time and war.
He wrapped his friend in an embrace.
Sora melted into Riku's arms, found the tears working their way up his chest into his throat and finally settling into his eyes where they washed his cheeks in a brilliant show of crystalline emotion. He wrapped his own arms around his friend and listened to the slow and steady beat of the older boy's heart.
It was still there. He still had a heart. What Sora had feared most was nothing to fear at all.