"Yeah!" Sora shouted after the last of the heartless as they slunk away. "Take that!"
The others were laughing at him-- well, for a given value of 'laugh', he was pretty sure that neither Cloud nor Leon had ever laughed in their lives, but they were looking a little less scowly than usual, anyway. He supposed it might have had something to do with the fact that they'd just driven a huge freaking battalion of heartless off the walls and out of the Bailey, that was certainly what had everyone else, all of the guards and soldiers and friends, cheering.
Sora took a last swipe at one particularly slow Shadow, then straightened, letting his keyblade fall to his side-- panting, the adrenaline still singing through his blood, feeling a bit like he could chase the rest of them down by himself. He shifted foot to foot, just because, not because he was going to actually try it, really-- and stilled when the fabric of his shorts rubbed just so and his breath caught for an entirely different reason.
Oh. Well, yeah, okay, that happened sometimes too.
But not-- he glanced around furtively, at all those guards and soldiers and friends who were just standing there, all around him, and wow there were a lot. Usually when this happened there weren't so many people around. And for the moment he was facing away from them, but as soon as he turned around, they had to be able to see it, even with the baggy shorts. It was the sort of thing that people noticed, right?
He was pretty sure that Donald and Goofy had noticed-- they'd been around each other long enough, through enough fights. Hell, they like, turned into his clothes or something, sometimes, and he had very carefully avoided asking them how much they were aware of during a Drive. They'd never mentioned it. He had been happy to let them not mention it. And somehow he always managed to find himself an out-of-the-way corner of the gummi ship after the particularly fierce fights, the ones that left him jittery and wild and too worked up to help it.
He didn't think that would be an option, this time.
Someone slapped his shoulder, and he jumped; Yuffie didn't let that stop her, determinedly steering him back towards the town. And there were people everywhere, only-- none of them seemed to look at him oddly, which was a really big freaking relief because his little problem just didn't seem to want to go away, damn it. Just for a few minutes, until he could get some privacy, was that too much to ask?
He finally managed to duck away when Cid started grumping about the defense system, and the others headed off in the general direction of the control room. He made some excuse and slipped gratefully down a side street, and from there into an empty alley. Taking a breath, he thumped his head back against the wall and tried to let the silence steady him while he waited long enough for the crowds to move on.
Only it wasn't quite silent, because there was a set of footsteps following him, and he nearly groaned out loud in frustration. He opened his eyes to find Riku standing at the mouth of the alley, looking at him in concern that slowly, slowly melted into amused realization.
"Good fight?" Riku said casually, walking up with hands in his pockets. Sora gave him a dirty look
"Like you can't tell," he muttered. "Like everyone can't tell."
"They can't," Riku said easily. "Come on, you can't tell me you don't wear those shorts for a reason. No one noticed, trust me."
"Sora," Riku said patiently, "just because I can read you like an open book, doesn't mean everyone has that ability."
That, Sora had to admit, was probably true. Riku was, well, Riku like that.
Riku was also still coming closer, was almost right in his face. "You need a hand with that?" he said in a low murmur, and just like that, whatever progress Sora had made towards making his little problem go away was cancelled out. Riku slid in close, one hand braced on the wall beside Sora's head; the other touched Sora's waist and started to slide downward, just a little, just a suggestion, and Sora whined and wriggled into his grip.
"Come on, Riku, just--"
Riku laughed, the bastard, but that hand moved in without any further hesitation and slipped the catch on Sora's belt, loosening his shorts enough so that it could slip inside. That warm, strong grip wrapped right around him, and Sora choked down a moan as it started to move.
"It really gets to you, doesn't it?" Riku murmured, his eyes bright.
Sora knew he was probably still being laughed at, but he couldn't bring himself to care. "'S just," he said vaguely, not really paying attention, "fighting and fighting and you're still alive at the end of it and just-- ahh, Riku-- 's just sometimes, not all the time, just the really tough ones-- nggh, there, that, yes, Riku--" He lost whatever train of thought he had been trying to keep, leaned in to hook both arms over Riku's shoulders, and just hung on until it was over and the last of the aftershocks had faded.
"Yeah," he heard Riku said quietly, "I get it."
And he shifted, just a little, and pressed himself against Sora's hip, and Sora blinked against the fabric of Riku's shirt for a few seconds before he started to laugh.