Title: Understanding (Up and Apart)
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts 2
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Summary: And somehow he hadn't noticed that he'd lived an entire week without Riku in his world.
Notes: For video_game_yaoi. Sora/Riku. All things grow up and apart. Requested by imadra_blue.
"What do you mean?" Sora asked, looking up into the eyes of Riku's aunt.
"He left last week," she repeated. Her voice was finally starting to lose its strange, even tone. "I have his address, if you'd like to write to him. Come in."
Sora nodded, dumbly walking in behind the tall, silver-haired woman. Genetics had been kind to the entire family, he knew, both from Riku and his aunt and the photos that lined the long hallway.
Riku's parents lived in the city - hours away and just short of being a totally different world than the relaxed calm of the islands - of course he'd go back to them after high school ended.
"You two were close, weren't you?" Riku's aunt commented as she stopped to shuffle through the only drawer of a rough, old desk at the end of the hallway. "It's in here somewhere..."
"Not this year," Sora admitted. There was no fault in his statement, just like there'd been no fault in their slow parting. Even Kairi had started spending more time with female classmates as the days passed since they returned from their adventure.
Somehow, he and Riku had drifted apart.
"So you didn't know he'd been accepted to the university in the city, then?" She was still rummaging, finally pulling out a scrap of paper. "Despite having a bit of a hole in his education, he even got a decent scholarship."
"Oh." College. Sora was speechless. He'd always thought that perhaps he and Riku could spend a few years on a fishing boat, saving up to go somewhere... together.
And somehow he hadn't noticed that he'd lived an entire week without Riku in his world.
For the two weeks following, Sora mowed every lawn available, pruned every hedge and weeded every flower bed. He cleaned gutters, trimmed trees, and painted fences. He dusted and vacuumed and delivered take-out for a day when no one else could help out at one of the small cafes. One day, at a complete loss, he even juggled and danced and bounced one of Wakka's sport balls a few hundred times straight up into the air without missing until people gathered and gave him their pocket change.
Some of them looked like they understood. He was on a mission.
After two weeks, and with a few hundred munny tucked away in a zipped sweatshirt pocket, Sora slipped onto the last train towards the city, clutching in one hand the scrap of paper with Riku's address on it.
As the scenery raced by, Sora couldn't help staring up at the moon. One sky. Riku was under that same moon. Hopefully he'd understand.
Riku had called, the month before - stopped by once. But so much had been going on; so many stupid trivial things had been going on and Sora had just thought Riku would know that they'd have time.
But they didn't. Riku had been leaving.
Kairi had walked Sora to the train station without saying a word, just holding his hand tightly as if that was the most powerful thing she could offer. Likely it was. Silent support and the same word he kept returning to: Understanding.
He could barely remember a time without Riku in his life, sent from the city because he'd been a sickly child who soon thrived on the islands and grew to be the biggest and strongest.
Leaning his head against the rattling window of the rattling train, Sora wondered just when he'd started to drift from his most beloved friend. He could remember so many good times - finally finishing a raft and poling around the islands for a day before returning home, racing one another through one of Riku's mazes, having a huge dinner made by Kairi for no reason at all other than she'd been practicing again... The list was endless.
He couldn't pinpoint it. But it had happened.
He looked up at the moon. Maybe he was the one who didn't understand.
Staring up at the apartment building, Sora felt the first pangs of nervousness. Somewhere inside, Riku was probably getting ready for bed. Probably taking a long, hot shower and tugging on the same old pajama bottoms that he always wore even if it was the chilly, damp season.
Sora shook his head. Of all the things to think of... He'd never really sorted that out, either - his attraction to Riku. That was just friendly longing, after all. Just a little loose wire somewhere from being hit on the head too many times that made him want to kiss Riku and run his hands over muscle borne from fighting to keep safe and sane.
But the taxi had dropped him off in the right place and he figured he could get past the door guards with a little charm, after all. So there was no reason to keep standing in one place, glancing upwards.
He couldn't even see the moon. There were too many lights.
"What am I doing?" Sora asked himself softly.
"Yes, what are you doing?"
He turned to where the familiar echo had come from.
Forgetting the last month of miscommunication and no communication and every single dumb thought and dumb action, Sora lunged forward with enough force that Riku had to take a step back to even stay upright as he was embraced.
"Sora..." Riku didn't seem to be returning the hug and confused, Sora stepped back. It was then that he realized that Riku had bags in his hands.
"Sorry!" Sora exclaimed quickly as he checked that his own backpack had stayed in place. He then reached out for at least some of Riku's burden.
"Why are you here?" Riku asked as he brushed by Sora. "You didn't seem to have any interest in talking to me before."
"I..." Sora hung his head and was silent for a second before yelling the first thing that came to mind. "I'd forgive you anything!"
Riku froze just as one of the doormen was opening the heavy glass door for him.
"Yes," Riku said. "You would. You have. C'mon. I got enough so I'd have leftovers. Have dinner with me."
Sora, when it came to food, did not have to be asked twice.
"Will you forgive me?" Sora asked once he'd cleaned up the last of the mess from dinner. He was fairly sure that the apartment was twice the size of Riku's aunt's house based solely on the few rooms he'd actually seen. And Riku had mentioned it to be quite normal for his parents to come home, literally, only to sleep - if they did that much. Apparently, in the city, many places let employees stay overnight. Sora thought he could understand that; he wanted a job on a fishing boat and he'd get to sleep on it, after all.
Riku glanced over from where he was putting the few unfinished things into the fridge.
"You've forgiven me entire worlds," Riku said. "You've forgiven me when I didn't deserve a single solitary ounce of your forgiveness. I can forgive you this. You want a drink?"
Sora nodded and just barely managed to catch the can of soda that Riku whipped at him a second later.
"Will you forgive me something else?" Sora asked suddenly. He knew it might be a little safer to take a risk when he could get a train back to the islands, but the mood was right.
"What?" Riku asked. "Y'know, I was going to ask you to come with me. Even if you don't want to go to school, you could get a job here and we could have our own apartment."
"Our... own?" Sora paused halfway across the kitchen.
"Or is that not enough of an adventure?"
"Maybe," Sora replied as he took the last few vital steps. "But you have to forgive me one more thing, first."
"What?" Riku asked again. "Sora, whatever it is..."
"This," Sora said quickly, pinning Riku between his body and the counter as he pressed his lips against Riku's in a nearly-chaste kiss. And then he pulled back as though he'd been burned.
But Riku was smiling, looking almost as though he hadn't much minded the kiss.
"Not sure if I can forgive that," he finally said. "Not quite enough to go on. You're going to have to go it again and maybe try to slip me a little tongue."
Sora's eyes went wide as he searched for something to say. All he could really process was the most simple of things - he'd been forgiven. And Riku understood everything.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!