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by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts is not mine.

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- Streaming -

There's blood on her hands and sand in her mouth, but Kairi spits it out with a fierce grin and just swings the keyblade harder.

The screech of the blades clashing makes her teeth vibrate, and there's sweat stinging at her eyes, and somewhere along the way she lost her left shoe. Twist, drop, flash and her grip's slipping, she's slid to one knee and let the blade fall, but right there--

Sora's surprised yelp when she punches him in the stomach with her free hand makes the aching leg totally worth it.

She has to jump to reach Riku's outstretched hand for the high-five, and now there's blood slipping down her legs, too, but she manages to balance right as he catches and spins her, and the keyblade slaps back into her palm with a sound like the waves against the shore, and then Sora's there again, a whirl of bright color and silver flashing like death, and blocking the blow drives her back to her knees and the breath from her chest, but she smiles up at the sunset and drives the keyblade into the sand and pushes back onto her feet again.

The blow to her back is swift and sharp and makes her topple down face-first, but it also drives the air back into her lungs, and she gulps it in greedily as she adjusts her grip and swings the blade out, fast and low over the ground. The skin on her elbow rips open against the sand and Riku jumps over it anyway, but she gives herself points for trying and shoves herself back unsteadily to her feet.

They let her get up way too often, she thinks, wincing as she totters to the left, but then they're only boys, and it took Riku way too long to convince Sora that he did actually have to hit her, so maybe they can be forgiven for being so hesitant.

--and Sora's just standing there with that little crinkle between his brows, and he's too far away for her to lunge, and Riku's still on guard so going after him is useless, so she licks her cracked lips and listens to the sound of her own heartbeat and lifts the blade up slowly and then down and the rush of light is like a crack in the heart of a star, like ripping a hole inside herself, and she wonders if magic always feels like this, or if it's only the light that makes it feel this way.

It probably would have been a more dignified attack if Riku hadn't had to catch her, she thinks idly, blinking up at him, but it definitely worked. He'll know if the attack is supposed to go like that anyway, she thinks, but when she opens her mouth to speak she has to take a moment to spit the grit out, and he pulls a face like he never would for anyone but them, and it's awfully cute for him to be disgusted by her spit but not for the way she's getting blood and sweat all over him.

"That was so cool!" Sora chirps, plopping down on the sand next to them, not looking the least bit singed, so she guesses that means she missed. "You almost totally fried me!"

Almost's not good enough, she thinks, but maybe it's not so bad for today, so she reaches out and pokes his nose and says "Next time I won't miss" through cracked lips with a voice that kind of makes it sound like she's been gargling the sand instead of just inhaling it.

"Good," Sora says, and grins, fierce and bright and wild, and Riku laughs and swats at him without letting her go, and she closes her eyes and breathes in and thinks yes, yes, yes.

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- Lingered -

In the moments before he can swallow frustration or anger, every shadow near Riku deepens and curls towards him, even beneath the glaring light of a noontime sun.

Sometimes, when he's agitated, blackness drips from his fingertips to pool at his feet, spreading and curling up like a lover's caress, and sometimes, he can feel Sora's heart respond, darkness surging forward in response to his own.

Kairi thinks Anti-form is cute, but Riku always feels vaguely sick when Sora closes his golden eyes and nuzzles against his chest, clinging softly with black black claws and delicate curls of shadow, whispering sweet deadly nonsense in the soft mindless way that only the Heartless can.

If Sora tears out his heart then they'll be together forever, but if Sora strikes at Kairi first, he can reach straight through Sora's soft black body and lock his fingers around that blazing heart, drown him in shadows and hold him still enough that Kairi can spin the light into a prison and tuck his skin back around his soul where it belongs.

The scent of darkness lingers long after its presence has receded, and even Kairi's hands sliding down Sora's skin can't quite brush it away, but the sight is distracting enough that he doesn't resist when they reach for him and pull him into the embrace, and if he buries his face against the soft curve of her throat, keeps his hand curled into Sora's hair, the scent of girl-shampoo and sweat and lust is almost enough to drown it out completely.

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- Fell So Deep -

Please he thinks, and soon and nevereverleaveme and mouths the words against sweatslick skin and softly parted lips, tangles his hands in long pale hair and digs his toes into the sand, arches his back and murmurs moregoodmore because it's all too fast but he won't won't won't ever let him go.

"Yes," he gasps to every cautious inquiry, to every pause and hesitation, because he could never say no, and if he pushes back hard enough, murmurs "Riku, don't stop," digs his fingers into the sand and into his clothes, pulls and pushes and bites, gasps and trembles and presses back with eager touches, then Riku won't leave him.

Riku will never leave him.

"Mine," he whispers after, because it's true, because he fought for him, searched for him, crossed worlds for him, wept for him and bled for him and loves him, loves him, loves him, and if there's a thick black knot in his chest, it's only because so many people tried to take him away, it's only because Riku kisses back deep and slow like drowing and answers "mine" in a voice that's a little like wonder but a lot more like thick black satisfaction, and Sora shivers a little and clings tighter, because he likes that. He likes that, the tingle down his spine, the heavy full feeling in his belly and the press of his skin, the odd scent in the air and the taste of his lips, the press of his weight and the curl of sword-callused fingers twined in the sand, the way Riku's breath catches when he slides his free hand down his back to pull him down for another kiss that lingers.

When he opens his eyes again, they're still close enough that it's almost still kissing, that there's silver hair pooled on his skin and the sand beneath him, thick black lashes almost brushing his skin, and Riku has eyes like a shallow sea and they glow and he'll never understand why they're forever pushing back his bangs just to catch a closer glimpse, and oh, he's so beautiful, here in the night and the dark that was made for him, drenched in shadows and shimmering like moonlight on water so pretty pretty like the shape of his heart.

He'll never ever ever let him go.

It was too soon and he knows it and he doesn't care, and he won't say a word because Riku would, if he knew, would hate himself for the unintended pressure and the nervousness, and so he won't do anything to sour the sweetness of the memory, and he made the choice on purpose, leaned into every touch and tugged at every dangling bit of fabric, and he knows he should be ashamed, should feel cold and empty and uncertain, but there's heat still singing through his veins and the taste of salt on his tongue, and he is sixteen years old and in love.

"Mine," he says again, after an hour's long drowsing, fingers tracing lazy patterns down his skin, and leans down into his smile, drinks in his laughter and shoves back at his teasing, sighs against his mouth as the pushing turns to caresses, slides his hands everywhere--everywhere and Riku's letting him and arching against him and oh--and there's sand in his hair and his heart's pounding so hard, and it's a little bit awkward and a little bit clumsy and he's a little bit terrified that he's doing this wrong and -- oh.

Sora steals every kiss he can and races him to the water, tackles him in the surf, and those kisses taste of the sea and the dawning sun, and he's so, so happy.

"Mine," he breathes against his parted lips, sprawled out in the rising tide, "mine forever," and Riku smiles up at him dark and secret like a promise and says yes without saying anything at all.

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