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A Moment of Peace

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Sora's not too sure what he was expecting when he turned into the rest area of the hospital, but finding Riku face down on one of the hospital's horrible, creaky and uncomfortable mattresses… definitely wasn't it. He blinks a few times, uncertain and intrigued before he finally edges over, putting a gentle hand on the other man's shoulder to try waking him up. Even if he's tired, sleeping like that can't be good for him.

"Riku? Hey, you should really—"

A startled swear escapes under his breath and he barely backs up fast enough to avoid the elbow that nearly collides with his face. Okay, he probably should have seen that coming. Kairi mentioned he used to take self-defence and martial arts. That… that should've been a given. Still, he relaxes when Riku spots him and gives a nervous wave; in turn, the other man relaxes and lets out a slow breath, rubbing at his face.

"Sorry, I—honestly, I don't know what I thought, but I shouldn't have—"

"It's okay." Well. Maybe not okay; but, Sora still shrugs it off. "I shouldn't have, either. Kairi told me you have fighter reflexes. I should've found a different way to wake you up."

The smile he gets is unsteady and still laced in sleep. It's distracting. Enough that Sora only barely notices Riku talking to him and… honestly, the only reason he does is because a small yawn breaks the words when he tries.

"Anyways, what's—excuse me—what's up? My pager didn't go off, so I'm assuming it's nothing… drastic."

What—oh. Right.

"Oh. No, no one's looking for you. I was coming down for a power nap and you were, uh… you really shouldn't sleep like that."

Riku stares at him for a long minute, clearly confused, before it seems to catch up with him and he laughs. "I usually don't, I promise. I just… I kind of banged my shoulder up a little—my other shoulder, I mean. You're fine."

Sora wonders how guilty he looked; but, he does relax when Riku indicates the shoulder he didn't move in his attempt to elbow Sora in the face… that does, unfortunately, mean it was the one Sora had his hand on a minute ago. He thought it felt tense, but had brushed it off as the weird sleeping position. He frowns.

"So… you sleep on your side, then?"

"I sleep on that side, very specifically. It's habit, more than anything." Riku laughs, holding up his right arm, in some sort of attempt at an explanation. "When I was little I broke this one. I had it in a cast for… I don't even remember now, probably six months? Maybe longer. I couldn't sleep on it and sleeping on my back was weird and reminded me of being in the hospital bed, propped up to sleep, so I just. Slept on my other side and I never really grew out of it, I guess."

Sora kind of wants to ask about his arm. What he did, what happened, is that why he took to the medical field? Why didn't he think of asking this last time they went out? He wants to ask now; but, instead, his attention drifts to the left arm.

"Do you mind if I take a look?" He's probably already seen someone. Kairi was good with muscle strain. Hell, if Aqua found out, she would have thrown him to Terra down in physical rehab, already, just to make sure it was nothing. When Riku gives him a wary look… he kind of wonders if he did see anyone. He had to have. Right?

"That depends… are you going to go rat me out to Aqua?"

Oh, gods, he hasn't.

Sora wrinkles his nose, brows furrowing in frustration. "I should. You're one of—no. You're the best surgeon in the building! If you're injured, she should know if it's going to get in the way…"

For a short moment—a very brief second that Sora feels his heart lodge in his throat, in equal parts fear and confused attraction—Riku's eyes narrow. But, he relaxes again, head shrugging to one side and brow quirking up in an interested manner.

"Should implies you aren't going to… what's the catch?"

"Just let me see. I—I'm not Terra, but… at least let me check? If it's serious you really should go see him."

Another stretch of unsteady silence—as silent as a hospital can be, anyways; Sora would swear everything is louder than ever as people pass by the door in the hallway, as the trolleys and gurneys squeak by—before Riku finally nods.

"Kairi mentioned you took massage therapy classes."

Oh, for the love of—when did she tell him that? Sora tries not to shuffle and nods a little. "Uh. Yeah. My cousins—well. You know Rox. He's… reckless, sometimes."

"If by sometimes you mean six days out of the week, then sure." Despite the dry tone, Riku's smiling again. He's careful when he shrugs out of his long jacket and then again as he's unbuttoning his shirt to slip out of that. He doesn't bother with the tank top beneath it, tilting his head again. "Should I stay sitting up or lie back down?"

Gods if Sora doesn't want to tell him to lie back down. He shakes the thoughts off, fighting down the embarrassment when he shrugs. "You can stay sitting, I just need to be able to reach your shoulder."

He edges around Riku as calmly as he can in some vain hope to not draw attention to the fact he's still a little pink in the face. Just at a glance, he can tell there's still tension in the left shoulder. He frowns, carefully reaching forward and pressing the tips of his fingers along the muscle on both sides, starting at his neck and working down. Admittedly, he may have been a bit worried about focusing… but, the very second his fingers find the beginning of tension—just before the junction of neck and shoulder—his attention zeroes in and he forgets how awkward this could be. Enough that he doesn't react past a small flinch when Riku hisses out a short note of pain.

"Sorry. Jeez, what did you do?"

"Honestly, if I knew. I probably just slept wrong." Riku grumbles again and Sora nods. He's seen the man fall asleep over his desk more times than he cares to admit. A lot more, recently, since they started hanging out more. Maybe dating. They need to clear this up.

Sora shakes his head, hard, and pulls a slow breath. They can clear it up when he's done.

"This is probably going to hurt for a few seconds," he admits, laughing a bit unsteadily. "I trust you not to elbow me in the face."

Riku nods, slowly, like he isn't entirely sure what he's being told before he hisses again, his entire body tensing up when Sora pushes a little bit harder on the muscle in his shoulder. He pauses, waiting for the man relax again before he starts back up. A little bit gentler, slowly working into the message and trying to push the knot out of the muscle as carefully as he can. The worst is in the center of his shoulder and is proving more than a little difficult to work with. After a few minutes, he finally sighs.

"Could you lie down?" Riku makes a sleepy hum and Sora realises the man's nearly fallen back asleep. He bites down on the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. "I need you to lie down. This is a lot tighter than I thought. I'm pretty sure I can work most of it out, though."

"Oh. Sure."

It takes a few minutes longer than it should. It should be a simple task; but Riku stays upright a bit longer, clearly unsteady and trying to wake up enough to find a way to lie down that won't agitate his shoulder. When he manages, his right arm is folded into a pillow, while his left arm is hanging off the side of the bed. Sora moves over to the left side, leaning over him to start pressing at the knot again, once more trying to push the tension out. This is proving a lot easier and before he even really thinks about what he's doing, he's only using one hand to massage the shoulder, the other moving to mimic the motion on the right. The muffled moan of approval is what alerts him to the change, himself, and he feels his cheeks heating up.

"Sorry—I, uh—I should've asked first," he doesn't stop; but, he does slow the massage a little, ready to pull his hands away. "I can stop, your shoulder should be fine to sleep on, but you should really ice it when you get home—"

"No, that felt… that felt great." Riku manages to throw him a smile, clearly starting to fall asleep and tries to make a motion with his left hand. "If you don't mind… please."

Sora mostly definitely doesn't mind and he nods, a bit too eagerly perhaps, and turns his attention back to the task at hand. Almost immediately Riku's eyes close and his breathing evens back out to slow, deep breaths. Every few seconds his back arches, like he's trying to follow the touch and Sora smiles, paying extra attention to where he's touching when this happens.

It's hard to feel everything beneath the tank top… but, what he can feel is dedication. Years of careful exercise in the way his muscles follow the message, melting beneath the touch as Riku relaxes more and more. Sora kind of regrets not asking him to take the tank top off, but… honestly, this is almost better. He's seen Riku shirtless before. The hospital showers and locker rooms didn't leave much to anyone's imagination. It made things a little awkward when one of his cousins or one of their boyfriends was in the room; but, overall… it was just… normal. It's something he's gotten used to. Riku's touched his bare back before—an accidental gesture when he caught sight of an old scar down Sora's side. An old story that still hasn't been told—maybe if he ever gets the nerve to ask about when Riku broke his arm—but a touch that had been equal parts alarming and welcome.

"Hey, Riku—?" Sora stops himself before he asks. The man's already fallen back asleep, breathing leveled out to a steady pattern and Sora finds himself smiling again, a moderately exasperated sigh slipping by his lips. "I literally just told you not to sleep like that."

It takes some effort—and a lot longer than he's willing to admit—to turn Riku onto his side. Longer than it should as he tries to make sure not to startle the man awake. But, he is eventually able to get Riku onto his left side, careful to ensure that a pillow is propped snugly to keep his shoulder or neck from straining too much. The best part, perhaps, is that Riku almost immediately curls into a ball when Sora puts his jacket over him and then the hospital blanket. He really shouldn't… but, he snaps a quick pictures on his phone, making a note to text it to Riku later when they both eventually get to go home.

For now… well, he's wide awake. Might as well go make sure they both have a meal waiting for them, later, too.

[♥ Bonus ♥]

Riku stifles the yawn behind his hand as he's trying to get into his apartment. The nap in the hospital, so close to the end of his shift, was probably one of the worst ideas he's had lately, but it's also the best sleep he's had lately. He wonders how Sora would feel about going out to dinner as thanks. His shoulder feels much better, Aqua's still none the wiser to the small strain, and he finally got a little bit of sleep.

Before he can text Sora, a familiar notification fills the stillness of his foyer and he raises a brow. Weird… Sora usually passed out as soon as he got home. Trying to fight the worry down, Riku swipes his phone open and almost immediately drops it when he sees a picture of himself. Asleep. Curled up in a ball.

A second notification and he finally tears his eyes from the picture to read the text.

From Sora: You're really cute when you sleep. Hope you get some rest! We should hang out later! Good night!

Too many exclamation points and as mad as Riku wants to be, he finds himself smiling and heaving a slow, deep sigh that feels a lot more fond than exasperated. Whatever. It's one picture… he can at least trust Sora won't send it to anyone else.

Not two hours later, however, he's startled out of his sleep by an influx of texts from basically everyone at the hospital. The latest one from Sora. Apologising. What the Hell is he apologising for?

Trying to rub the sleep from his eyes, Riku scrolls through his phone—none of the texts make sense—until he finds the culprit at the bottom of the missed text list and feels a vein in his forehead starting to throb.

From Vanitas: I'm not letting either of you live this down in the next millennium

Below that is a picture of Sora curled up sleeping… and as cute as it is, Riku finally realises that Vanitas not only sent that to Riku… but he sent Sora and Riku both to literally everyone they knew.

He's going to kill Vanitas next time he sees him, no matter what Ventus or Sora says, he is dead.