That was the first time I saw him.
"Honey, I want you to meet someone."
Hearing his mother's voice come from the living room, the small boy rolled his eyes. Great... Now what was going on? He remained silent as he stood from his spot on his bedroom floor and wandered towards the gentle voice of his mother, not even thinking about closing the door behind him. It was open anyway, so why bother? He slowed as he came to his mother's side, feeling her long fingers run through his hair. He completely ignored the woman in front of the both mother and son as he spotted brunette spikes sticking out from behind the other woman's pleated skirt. However, he couldn't get a good look at where they were coming from due to the woman moving to kneel down in front of him. Instantly, he was greeted with green eyes and flowing brown hair. He finally let his own eyes meet the woman's, though his blank expression remained. He had no interest in this woman. What he truly wanted to know was who was behind the woman and why the hell that person (or at least, he guessed it was a person from the height) was hiding.
"My, my! He's as cute as you said he was, Nagisa! He definitely has your eyes."
He ignored the comments on his eyes as he continued to feel his mother stroking his hair. He tried his hardest to look around the woman without moving from his spot, thinking that he was doing this without being noticed. Finally, he saw brunette spikes reveal themselves from behind the woman once more, but they soon disappeared as ocean blue eyes met aquamarine ones. He let out a small huff, looking up as the woman before him stood. Well, considering that both the child's and the woman's hair color were the same, he figured that this must have been her own child. From the looks of it, that child was a male, though the 5-year-old had never seen a child that cautious, quiet, and shy. Tidus, Wakka, and Selphie all seemed outgoing and absolutely loved to run around the playground and talk to him whenever they could, despite his disinterest in meeting new people and making friends.
His eyes shifted back to the brunette spikes, his expression remaining unchanged. It was only then that the woman finally realized what exactly he was doing and coaxed the blue-eyed boy out from behind her, soon introducing him as 'Sora'. While his mother laughed at how the younger child kept his fist to his mouth, the silver-haired one remained completely stoic, if not annoyed. In his opinion, the boy seemed too weak. He looked like one who couldn't stick up for himself and would just take the beatings if he was ever bullied. It was then that he decided.
He didn't like this boy.
I hate him. He's too kind. He can't even stick up for himself.
The boy sighed as he watched the brunette from across the island, his leg swinging back and forth as Sora messed around with the sand on the beach. He was thankful that Sora never bothered him, but was still annoyed by his presence. The other was kind and friendly once he finally came out of his shell and actually started talking and playing with the other kids of the islands. That was the exact opposite of what the silver-haired male was. Unlike Sora, the five-year-old stayed away from everyone he possibly could and glared at all who dared to come near the small island-like piece of land he had claimed his own. He merely sat on the paopu tree every day, just watching as the other children ran around, squealed, and seemed to have fun. At least he knew he'd be safe here. He'd be alone.
He paused as he heard an all too familiar voice, groaning and rolling his eyes. He turned his head once more to peer down at the beach, raising his eyebrow at the sight of the brunette yelling at an older boy for purposefully kicking over his sand castle. Well, this was going to be interesting... If the silver-haired child knew anything about Bruce, then it was that the oldest child on the island definitely didn't like to yelled at - especially not by someone smaller, weaker, and younger than him. Expecting just to see Bruce yell right back and snap at the brunette, the other's course of action definitely surprised him a lot more than it should have. The sound of skin against skin, followed by a painful and surprised yell, soon reached his ears, causing him to widen his eyes. Bruce had actually back-handed Sora.
Not even knowing what got into him, the silver-haired child pushed off of his tree and ran to the bridge. Without wasting another second, he jumped down and grunted as he hit the sand, toppling over and rolling only once until he was back onto his feet. Well, that was certainly odd. He had never done that before. Then again, in his mind, it was rather cool. He shrugged it off and sprinted towards the two boys, placing himself between the two of them. Even though he was shorter and clearly much smaller than the other boy, he glared up at him with his back to Sora, his fists at his sides in a calm, yet confident demeanor.
Bruce chuckled before he crossed his arms and leaned back only slightly, a smug look on his features. "Oh? Does little Riku want to play?" the boy asked.
"Back off, Bruce!" the 5-year-old, Riku, retorted. Seeing Bruce make the first move, he quickly brought his arm forward with as much momentum as he could possibly muster, jamming his fist into the older one's stomach. This received a satisfying grunt as Bruce collapsed to one knee, holding his stomach.
Bruce glared up at Riku before he stood and ran off towards the dock. "You'll pay for this, Riku!" he called back.
Feeling an overwhelming joy creep over him, Riku couldn't help but to grin at his victory. Never before had someone stood up to Bruce and actually win the fight. He smirked in triumph and yelled, "Yeah, I'll pay with another fist to your gut!" He paused as he felt small hands clasp onto one of his own, turning his head to see a grinning boy with spiked brunette hair. Ocean blue eyes looked directly into his, full of hope, wonder, and admiration.
"We're friends now, right?"
The five-year-old's breath caught in his throat as he heard this questions. Friends... He replayed the question over and over again inside his mind and before he knew it, he smiled and replied, "Yeah. Of course we are."
He didn't turn out to be that bad. In a matter of time, we were calling each other 'best friends' - even after she came along.
He was jealous of her. He had to admit that much. He had been ever since the first day she came to the islands. Before, it had only been him and Sora; two inseparable friends who would take on the world together. Now, he was questioning as to how long it would last. Would Sora leave him now that he was so close to Kairi? This question bothered him to the point that he almost asked the brunette himself. However, everytime he got the chance, he would just cower away and not say a thing. Instead, he would change the topic or bring up another question. But the thought still bothered him.
Riku, now age 14, sat alone in the secret cave he and Sora had discovered. This place had been a sanctuary for years. He could just sit and think without fear of anyone bothering him. However... More people had found out about it. Even Sora had brought Kairi into the cave. And, ever since then, Riku tried to avoid it everytime Sora was inside. However, that didn't mean that he no longer hung out with Sora. Oh no. In fact, he tried to sit by the paopu tree every single sunset and just stand and talk with them, especially after they began working on the raft. He sighed as he tilted his head back and just listened to everything around him, leaning back against the cave wall. He sat there for only a moment before he stood and wandered towards the door. He rested a hand on it and took a deep breath. He lurched forward, slamming his shoulder into the hard wood. Wincing, he staggered back and shook his head. Still wouldn't budge... He sighed and shook his head and was about to try again when he saw something... peculiar out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head and his eyes widened as they focused on the carving of Sora sharing a paopu fruit with Kairi.
He hesitated before he ran a hand through his hair, shaking his head once more. So... Sora was slipping away after all.
It was then that I decided. There was nothing left for me there. That world was only a prison. I needed to escape it. And so, I did. But I realized my mistake.
The silver-haired male rested his hand against the egg-like container, knowing very well that it was Sora inside of it. He had been sleeping in there for five months now, but he still showed no signs of awakening. 'How much longer will it be?' he kept wondering, his head tilted up towards where he knew Sora's face would be. However, all he could see was a veil of black. He would not remove this blindfold, no matter what. It kept him safe. And to remove it would mean reverting back to Ansem. This was the only way he could protect Sora without resorting back to darkness.
"Why didn't you just go back to the islands and protect Kairi?" he asked, closing his hand into a fist.
"He was searching for you."
Caught off guard by the new voice, he lowered his hand and calmly turned around, his lips forming a thin line. "I told him to take care of Kairi. But he took a nap. He should've went back to the islands," he argued softly. He could almost see the sweet smile the blond gave him. He followed the sound of delicate footsteps as they neared the egg, his head turning until it reached beside him. He let out a gentle sigh as he heard nothing more than that and turned back to Sora, his head tilted upwards once more.
"Y'know... He has a lot of memories of you."
"We've known each other since he was 4. Of course he does."
"No... I mean, a lot of important memories. Things he doesn't want to forget. Even when he lost most of his memories, even ones of Kairi, he held onto the ones about you."
There was no reply.
"He treasures you more than he does Kairi, Riku. He looks up to you and he doesn't want to lose you. He went searching for you after you were locked behind the doors."
Riku's lips formed a thin line once more. 'He doesn't treasure me,' he wanted to say. However, all he could manage to say was, "He loves Kairi." He turned his head ever so slightly when he heard a small laugh.
"That may or may not be true. I can't tell. All I can see from the memories I have put back in place is that he cares about her. But he still thinks his best friend is more important."
He opened his mouth to reply again, but felt a small finger press against his lips.
"You'll see, Riku. Just wait until he wakes up."
"Naminé, I don-" He was cut off when he realized she was already gone, his eyebrows furrowing. Was that conversation all in his head? Maybe his senses were just messing up... He sighed softly and turned his head, this time his head tilted downward.
From behind him, a small girl gently smiled, her footsteps silent as she walked out of the room. Once back in the White Room, she sat down and began to doodle once more. "You'll see, Riku. You'll see," she said. Within minutes, she laid the notepad down on the table. On it was a drawing of Sora within the egg with Riku standing beside it.
He woke up, but I wasn't there. I couldn't face him. But he found me. And we went back home together.
A gentle breeze played with silver locks, pushing them out of the 16-year-old's face only to let them fall right back. Closing his eyes, he took in a deep breath of the sweet ocean air, the sounds of waves lapping against the shore filling his ears along with the occasional cries of the seagulls flying above. He had forgotten how much he loved this place... This was home. It wasn't a prison, it was home. His aquamarine eyes fluttered open once more when he heard his name, turning his head and looking out of the corner of his eye to see a very familiar blue-eyed boy running towards him. He hummed lightly, but said nothing and just turned his attention back on the horizon. However, this earned him a sharp tug on his back, his eyes widening as he felt himself falling backwards.
"Don't ignore me, Riku!" was all that he heard before he crashed into the sand below him with a grunt. He glared up at the smirking brunette before he rolled his eyes and stood up, dusting off his clothes.
"Yeah, thanks, Sora," he said sarcastically before he walked around the tree and leaned against it, the brunette climbing onto it beside him. "Anyway, what're you doing here?"
"Just... y'know. Wanted to hang out a bit."
Riku hummed lightly. Of course... That was always the answer. He crossed his arms and watched the waves in the distance, thankful he wasn't being blinded by a sunset due it being nearly noon. Even now, Naminé's words rang clear in his mind. He didn't even know if the conversation was true, but it still left him with questions. "Why did you come looking for me when I told you to take care of Kairi?" he finally asked.
"Hm? Oh. Well, I can't just leave my best friend, now can I? ... Why?"
"Remember that promise?"
Riku paused as he recalled the many promises the two had made, some of which had been forgotten or broken. He chuckled lightly before he nodded, a small smirk gracing his lips. "Yeah. That you would buy me a new strawberry shortcake because you decided it looked better on the wall," he replied, knowing very well that wasn't the answer his friend was looking for. He didn't even have to look at the other to know that he was blushing furiously; it happened every time he mentioned his abused strawberry shortcake.
"H-hey! That was an accident and you know it!"
"Yeah, yeah. We all know you purposefully ran into me. You were just jealous that I got the biggest piece."
"No I- Okay, yeah, I was jealous, but not enough to stop you from eating it. Tidus tripped me."
The silver-haired male sighed as he shifted against the tree, his eyes wandering over to the younger one next to him. "Alright, alright. We promised we'll hit back anything the worlds throw at us," he said.
"Aaaaaand? What else?"
With a roll of his eyes, Riku added, "And always protect each other." He tilted his head up and looked towards Sora to see the brunette grin brightly.
"Exactly. So if we're ever separated, we'll just have to find each other and come back home," Sora concluded.
Riku hummed before he silently nodded and turned to look towards the horizon. "Because we're best friends?" he questioned.
There was a pause before Sora replied, just as confident, "yeah." However, there was another question that followed, "What brought all these questions on anyway?"
Riku contemplated whether or not to actually tell of his little chat with Naminé. He finally smirked before he shook his head. "No reason. Just some thoughts I've been having."
"Aw, c'mon, Riku! Don't do this to me! Explain!"
Riku laughed before he pushed away from the tree with a smirk, daring to look up at the brunette. Giving a quick 'no', he hooked one thumb in his pocket. However, his eyes widened as he saw Sora lunge towards him, letting out a shout as their bodies collided and they fell backwards onto the sand. Wrestling for a moment against the ground in order to win the argument of Riku spilling everything or just staying quiet, the older male finally broke free of Sora's grip and broke into a sprint towards the shack with Sora hot on his heels. This chase continued on until Riku ran into the ocean and dove under, swimming out to where even Sora wouldn't dare to swim. He smirked as he watched his friend wave his hands frantically and complain from the shoreline, knowing that he had won this battle. Though along with this, he knew that he had not won the war.