“no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you” – E. E. Cummings
Those first few days home had been the hardest ever. They were harder, at least in Sora’s opinion, than battling a thousand heartless; or facing down Saix or Xemnas. It might not have been quite as hard as watching Axel (die) fade away, but it was definitely up there what with the hugging and the crying his parents had done. He tried to push down the horrible guilt that had engulfed him in the form of his mother’s arms as she had sobbed against his collar my boy’s back over and over until it was the only sound he could hear even with his eyes closed.
Now wasn’t the time for those thoughts though, this was time for his friends. Just Kairi, Riku, and himself hanging out like teenagers for the first time since the whole (adventure? journey?) debacle started.
Sora was the first to the island, over-achiever that he was, and it was fine with him. A few moments to himself, soaking in the atmosphere he had missed for so long. He yawned, stretched out on the sand, closed his eyes and just listened. Seagulls crying in the distant sky, the rustle of palm leaves caught in the wind, the ocean sighing home, you’re home into his heart.
Home, he smiled, what an amazing notion that was.
“You lazy bum, wake up.”
He sat up with a gasp, turning to see the people he’d been waiting for standing behind him. Kairi was all smiles, rocking on her heels with her hands clasped innocently behind her back.
Riku, smirking, shook his head. “Typical.”
“He’s always snoozing down here.” Agreed Kairi.
Feeling just a little offended and trying very hard not to pout, Sora tried to argue, “Not always, I just got home. I have like, a year or something of naps to catch up on.”
“Didn’t nap enough while Naminé fixed your memories? Gosh Sora, you really are turning into a lazy bum.” Riku sat down next to him, bumping shoulders playfully. Sora thought his heart might burst; right there, how long had it been since Riku had teased him so easily?
“Okay, okay, enough with the pick on Sora time. What are we going to do today guys?” Sora leaned back, grinning from ear to ear and just drank in the sight of his friends.
it’s been too long
It was, of course, Kairi that finally voiced an idea. “I’ve got it!” her lips curled into a sweet smile, “I’ll race you!”
The two boys exchanged a flat look, “Really?” They echoed each other.
“Ready, and-“ Kairi took off, leaping over both sets of legs, “go!” She kicked up a fine spray of sand, laughing as she sprinted the length of the beach.
Riku and Sora were still staring at each other, expressions mirror images of shock. “That little sneak.”
“Cheater,” Sora accused once they finally caught up with her.
She shrugged, unaffected, “Not cheating. I took a lady’s head start.”
“Who lied and called you a lady?”
The resulting scuffle would have all three parties questioning how they managed to get so tangled in seaweed when they had been fairly careful to avoid the actual ocean.
The trunk of the paopu tree was a comforting weight against his back. Some days Riku felt content enough to just stand there and watch the world he chose revolve around him.
“He’s brooding again,” Kairi stage whispered from over his left shoulder.
“This might be serious, should we call the king?” Sora asked, in an equally loud whisper from his right side.
Riku may have smiled, but only a little, because being happy that your friends are dorks is for saps. “I’m not brooding.”
Kairi sighed, patting him on top of the head, “and now he’s in denial about his brooding. This is getting heavy.”
He tugged at her wrist, pulling her down until her hand rested against his heart. “I’m not brooding.” He reiterated, letting a bit more of that smile bleed through because, really, it was just the three of them and the ocean and sunset.
“So, you’re really happy here?” Sora asked, leaning over to rest his chin on the crown of Riku’s head. He made a snuffling noise and tried to straighten silver strands away from his face.
Riku was quiet for a long moment, running the different words through his head before he voiced them out loud (and thusly, risked putting himself in the same ridiculous category of touchy-feeling-emotion-guy as Sora). What he wanted to say ran along the lines of I’m happy so long as you two are here.
In the end, what he said came out as “This small world, with its predictable patterns, where someones married their everyones.” He turned, trying to look them both in the eye, and smiled. “It’s home, I’m happy because you two are with me.”
And who really cared about the tough guy image anyhow? Having his two best friends collapse on top of him in an awkward group hug was way better.
She had her boys back, finally her heart felt whole. School was so much more bearable now that she could look up at any moment and meet Sora’s eyes (they shared a smile, just between them). Lunchtime with the whole group, sitting on top of picnic tables, being surrounded by heartbeats and laughter and smiles. This, Kairi realized, had been the entire point of all their collective hardships.
Which was exactly why she wouldn’t tell them about her nightmares. No, she could already imagine their guilt ridden expressions and they had all been through too much for her to add that to their plates.
She went to bed, patted a hand against her heart “It’s okay. I’m not really alone, you’re with me Naminé.” Kairi tucked herself into bed, faced away from the window, and prayed for a quiet night of rest.
“Stupid, you should have let me go first.”
“What? No. You should have let me go first.”
“Your butt’s too big, if I waited for you neither of us would ever get to check on Kairi.”
Kairi sat up, blinked, and looked at her window where one Sora and one Riku were currently wedged. “What are you two doing?”
They both looked up, eyes wide and slightly guilty. “We were worried about you,” Sora explained when he finally managed to dislodge himself from the window. He flopped bonelessly to her bed, head cradled in Kairi’s lap.
“We could tell something was bothering you,” added Riku (who managed to pull himself free with much more poise) he sat next to her, pulled her head against his shoulder, “we could feel it. In our hearts.”
“You were hurting.” Sora squeezed her hand.
“But wouldn’t let us in.” Riku ran a hand through her hair.
“So, we let ourselves in.”
Kairi smiled, unbridled joy flitting through her whole being. “You guys,” and she pulled them closer to her. They fell asleep on her bed, a tangle of limbs.
The sun was setting in a gorgeous myriad of colors (“no other world had sunsets like here,” Riku added quietly), the sand was warm and soft, the ocean a quiet backbeat to their own hearts.
“Let’s stay like this, forever.” Kairi said, squeezing the hands still tangled with her own.
“Of course,” Sora grinned.
“Always.” Added Riku.