* * *
by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts is not mine.

* * *
- Learning -

There are little things to adapt to in each other, and it's all natural, it feels right, shifting and sliding into place, and it doesn't strike Sora as weird until he's staring down at a bottle of bubblegum-scented shampoo held out by his mother and staring at her wavering smile and he thinks, I'm sixteen--am I sixteen? and Roxas says I think we are maybe--I don't know for sure-- and Sora gives his mom a plastic smile and says "Wow, you remembered" and that makes her go tight-lipped and pale and oh crap, he's bad at this because he's used to being the one that's angry and upset and he doesn't think any of the things that Riku does to make him stop should ever be done to his mother ever because Riku is a jerkface except for when he's not but Sora needs to never ever ever think of his mother in situations like that or he will drop dead of complete horror right then and there.

He leaves the shampoo in the bathroom and makes sure to dump a little down the drain every time he takes a shower, and feels a little guilty about it, but it's all about shifting around again, and he'd really liked Kairi's new perfume right up until her face had crinkled and she'd gasped "Oh crap, Riku, I'm sorry I totally forgot!" and yeah, it's weird and sort of freaky but it also makes him feel all soft and sort of stupid that Riku really is that attuned to them, so that a slight shift in scent is enough to have him brushing up against them in the hallways, deliberately picking a fight whenever Sora's on edge and sidling up to Kairi and offering her silent massages on the days when being a girl really really seems like it sucks.

That also required some adaptation, after they'd both completely freaked out the first time she'd winced and bent over and hissed out through her teeth, so near the beginning of each month he makes sure to toss extra painkillers into his bag, because "Potions don't work, stupid, there's nothing physically wrong with me..." and keep a little extra munny on hand, because chocolate allows for the release of endorphins which helps to alleviate pain, and so far that biology quiz has been the only thing he's actually passed with flying colors, and yeah, his mom gave him a really freaked-out look about that.

So far he's avoided having to buy tampons, but Riku hasn't. There's a little list with instructions and everything - apparently brands and different types really really matter and they're probably going to have to build up a little stockpile or something in the future, because she's healthy and she's going to stay that way, so unless she gets really stressed or--and they're not going to have any babies until they're married, and that's at least two years away, because they have to finish high school and move away first, and he doesn't want to be killed by Kairi's dad, so he'll hide behind Riku and then run away while the mayor's busy killing him instead.

And besides, they haven't even... done that. Yet. The one time he managed to get her shirt off he got so flustered by her bra that she'd actually put her top back on again and then Riku made fun of him for a week. He's still not sure where he's supposed to put his hands anyway, at least not on her, and he still gets shy about both of them, sometimes, when they're so close he forgets to breathe, when he's caught up in heat and laughter and uncertainty about what he's supposed to do next, when Riku's warm and close and flirting outrageously because he knows it will make them both splutter and laugh, because he knows they'll let him get away with anything, because everything he does always feels so good that it almost always drowns out the nervousness that leaves him tongue-tied and turning red from his head to his toes.

It's very unfair that Riku not only knows how to take Kairi's underwear off but also what to do after that happens, but he can't complain too much because Riku also knows how to take off his underwear and then do other things, but it's really no use calling him a pervert when they're the ones who keep letting him convince them that they want to play.

Riku's really really pretty when he's flirting, all sly smiles and low-voiced innuendo, but he's still obnoxious, and Kairi had cracked up for nearly three minutes straight the first time she'd walked in on what had been a pleasant make-out session that rapidly dissolved into a wrestling match for reasons that he and Riku still can't remember. She also called them both idiots, but then they'd teamed up on her with a pillow barrage that they later figured could probably legitimately be used as a last line of defense against Heartless invasion as long as you strapped rockets inside, and the whole thing had ended rather pleasantly, even though he felt the blush on his cheeks for days afterwards.

That... seems to happen a lot, and he's not sure when it's going to stop, because every day there's something new to think about, every day there's a new way for Kairi's skirt to inch higher and a new way for Riku to laugh at him, every day there's something to notice that he's never thought about before, every day there's something that should be the same but is totally different than it ever was before.

He likes it, being able to settle in and look around, for once, at a world that's his own, being able to smile at familiar faces and laugh at the same jokes, being able to catch up on news and slide back into routine, and if it's not quite the same as it was before, that doesn't make it uncomfortable or strange, it just makes it a little different, and that's okay too, because keybearers are made to handle change.

If that means his mom looks at him like he's crazy sometimes... well, it's not like she's exactly wrong, either.

She's her own new and different thing, better than Riku's parents by far, but so far it's only Kairi's dad that still makes sense, and according to Riku it's just a matter of time until he goes the way of the other three. Sora's really not looking forward to that, mostly because he's starting to get the impression that having parents is a lot more complicated than he remembers it being.

A lot of things are more complicated than he remembers them being, and he's still not sure if he likes them all.

"It's 'cause we're growing up," Kairi explains, and swings their joined hands as they walk in the sand. "Everybody does this."


"Well, not exactly like this," she agrees, "but yeah, it's the same idea, it's just kind of worse with us because of everything else."

"Seems like kind of a pain."

"It is, but on the other hand, do you want to tell Riku he should start sleeping in his own bed instead of in ours?"

That is the worst idea that Sora's ever heard, and he tells her so, and she laughs and tells him to look on the bright side, at least the school isn't making him retake all the lessons he missed while he was gone.

He's sufficiently distracted by horror for her to trip him face-first over a piece of driftwood, which effectively ends the conversation.

* * *
- Lightening-

There's something a little feral about Sora, and with Riku it's three times worse because he's so much better at hiding it.

Sora's eyes are too sharp and his smile sometimes is lined with lies, and he can't keep his hands away, sweet and shy and insecure at first, and when they don't shrug him away he starts to cling, and when they kiss him he blossoms like sunshine, like sweet fruit overripe to bursting, and they have a vague plan to tell them all, parents and friends and the whole island alike, because he's so tripping-over in love that they can't really hide it, and it's only his uncertainty that's kept them moving so slowly, one step at a time and her hands guiding his to where they need to go.

He smiles at her and brings her things, offers training and magic spells and songs from far-off worlds, and it's slow and sweet and fairytale-perfect, them and their island and their playing, and she thinks this is the way storybook romances are supposed to go, but she doesn't care much for stories now that she knows the truth, and even if Sora purposefully doesn't think much about the flash of darkness in his eyes, she still smiles to see it, because memories are precious and he is precious and it's just another sign, that's all, it's just a hint of what they're still becoming.

Sora is shy and sweet and fumbling and uncertain, and he makes her feel that way too, a little silly and a little unsure, a little awkward and a little too grown-up, a little aggressive and a little invincible.

Riku's hands are larger and rougher and infinitely gentle, and he makes her feel brave and gleeful and a little bit crazy, because his touch is ghost-soft and his kisses are slow and warm like melting and dreaming, and it wouldn't be strange at all except he always seems to know how to touch, and where, and when, and then there's a vague impression of ink-black against the pale, and she has to push him down and hold him still just to make sure she's still herself, even though he's always, always just been him.

He smiles at her when he's like that, warm and patient and so so pretty, and she always turns red to see him sprawled out in her bed like decadence and mischief, all lean warm boy clashing with her lavender sheets, and she still feels a little guilty for the time she'd shoved him out the window when her father unexpectedly knocked on the door.

He'd had to wait on her roof for an hour before the coast was clear and he could come back in to get his pants.

The next time she tried to hide him under her bed, but he didn't really fit, and the third time, he had to sneak out down the hallway while her father wasn't looking. That's not even counting the time when Sora was still grounded that his mother chased Riku off with a mop, although ever since then Riku has loudly been counting down the days until she chases him off with a harpoon.

That's probably what's going to happen when they finally confess, anyway, and Kairi is just grateful that there aren't any weapons just lying around in her own house where her father is going to be able to grab them, although the boys have already planned out escape routes just in case.

She thinks they might be just a little bit paranoid, but then again, maybe not.

She's also more than a little skeptical about their plan to rig up an alarm in the hallway so they can all sneak into Riku's giant bedroom and equally giant bed without worrying too much about his parents, but it's better than risking the splinters in the treehouse on the play island that was the original plan. They just need to figure out a way up to the balcony that's not within view of his parents' wing, and a way past the low garden gate that won't make any noise, especially if his father is tending the plants again.

Then they need to figure out a way to ensure that Riku's mom doesn't kill them all in their sleep, but nobody, including Riku, has figured out how to do that yet. And it's not like she doesn't have reason to do it, because the two of them are definitely not son-and-daughter-in-law material as far as Chihoko is concerned, which would be the only thing that would save them from her wrath if she knew what they'd been up to with her son.

In their defense, though, the entire population of their class, including all of the guys and the pair of girls that have been dating since seventh grade, agree that Riku is sort of gorgeous.

It's way worse if you're dating him, because it's probably a sign of some sort that she and Sora are so tongue-tied around each other, but Riku only laughs at them, rolls his eyes and slides his hands wherever he likes, because he spends his nights in their beds and never in his own, and maybe it should feel weird, taking things so slow with one boy and so quick with another, except Sora's done exactly the same thing. Maybe it's because Riku's utterly shameless or maybe it's because he's so sure of himself, but when they're all together he's the one to tease them into heat and sweetness, to slide kisses deeper and whisper things into Sora's ear that make him turn bright red, to coax them both into giggling embarrassment and a silly kind of joy, and maybe that's why it's so easy to play with him, because he's so upfront about what he wants and why, because he's always so brash and so gentle, because Sora's still shy and a little bit young, and sometimes she just wants a pretty boy to pounce on.

If she tried pouncing on Sora they wouldn't get anywhere because it's hard to kiss someone when you want to die of embarrassment, and Sora's nowhere near bold enough to try that with her, so falling all over Riku is a pretty good alternative for now.

They're working on Sora, and she tries not to be jealous that Riku's been more successful than she has, because he keeps explaining that she is a girl and that somehow makes the entire situation different, but then again, she's also seen the two of them manage to get into an argument while still kissing, and maybe there are some things about boys that she's destined never to know.

That and it's a little weird how their fights tend to dissolve into lots of shoving and constant reiterations of "Your face is stupid!" when you notice the amount of time they spend staring at each other. Apparently in boy-speak doing this is not actually hypocritical or contradictory behavior--but then again they do make really stupid faces sometimes, so maybe she's a bit of a hypocrite herself, even if she has to point it out just to watch Sora turn pink and flustered and to hear Riku laugh, warm and clear as a summer night.

He doesn't laugh much, only when he's alone with them, when they're training and playing and sprawled out in the sand, and she thinks it might be a little sad, but being able to make him laugh is one of the most amazing things in the world, and for Sora it's so effortless that it's a little breathtaking, and she falls in love with both of them a little more each time it happens. Sora, predictably, doesn't even realize what he's doing and winds up a flustered mess every time she coaxes Riku into joining her for a pouncing session, even though they've only gotten as far as tickling matches, but that's almost as good as anything else would be, all warm bare skin and the tang of sweat on her lips, and when the darkness falls, she curls herself against them and watches the stars come out.

If she closes her eyes tight enough, links her fingers with theirs and breathes in deep, reaches for Naminé and thinks only of the light, sometimes, she thinks, she can hear the worlds singing.

"What do you feel?" she asks, and Sora says "You," because he doesn't understand the question, or maybe he does, even more than he realizes, and she turns from the sky and kisses him just to taste the innocence on his lips. When she asks the question again, Riku says "Everything," and she leans up and kisses him to taste the knowledge on his, because Riku can be the densest idiot in the world and still he understands.

Sora says "You," again, a little uncertain and impatient, so she turns her gaze from the skies and watches Riku blink once, twice, and then wade his way back to them, swift and sure-footed through the currents of darkness and light that have been calling him, and she thinks about telling Sora to close his eyes just so he can see how pretty it is, just so he can stop being afraid that Riku will drift away again, but his hand is halfway crushing hers and there's the faintest tightness in his lips, so she slides her arms around him and lets Riku kiss his anxiety away, because he's still learning, and there's still so much to discover.

* * *
- Laces -

Words carefully unspoken: loving them too hard ruined him, but he doesn't care.

He thinks it's funny that their parents can see so clearly what Sora will never understand and Kairi will never say out loud, and still not understand.

Love beyond reason, he thinks, but will never say, is what forged the keyblades, and tore the worlds to ruin and built them back again.

Love, Riku thinks, is not unselfish.

And love, he knows, is never kind.

* * *
- Longing -

His chest aches, sometimes, on the long lonely nights when he's thinking of Riku and that big empty room that he never sleeps in, and Kairi and the soft filmy curtains that hang above her bed, because sometimes, rarely, he'll notice it, the evidence of the year that he missed, in Riku's idle comments, in the way Kairi interacts with their other friends, and he thinks the time can't come fast enough, when they'll be grown past school and the age of majority and the demands of their parents, when they can just hurry up and be married, never mind what the rest of the universe throws their way.

There's a room, he knows, just a room, big and lovely in all the ways that Disney Castle is, with a bed that's big enough for three and is meant to be, a room where Riku's left a smattering of things behind him, set aside in the private quarters of the palace because the king loves Riku like he's his own, in all the ways Riku's own parents have never seemed able to.

Sora doesn't hate very many people, and that hatred is usually reserved for heartless and nobodies and all the horrors that plague the worlds, but there's a harsh cold spot deep in the corner of his heart that's for them, and all the ways that they've failed him, because he just can't understand why anyone could have a child and not take care of him, and if Riku calls himself damaged goods one more time Sora is going to scream.

Riku's mother is looking for matches for him already and they all know it, and none of it matters because they're going to get married, and everything's going to be okay, and if Riku gets disowned he'll be so happy and so hurt, and Kairi's dad is gonna hate them both but it'll all be okay.

His own mother's been paying more attention lately, and it's gotten harder to slide out his window and back inside again without her noticing, and now that he's spending the early morning hours helping her out on the boat it's getting harder to even get to school on time, much less spend the night with Riku or Kairi or both. Lunchtime isn't nearly time enough, even when they're able to sneak off to the roof to eat, because Riku gets sleepy-eyed and dozes off in their laps because he almost never sleeps at night, and too often after school Riku and Kairi get dragged off by their parents to do things, and sometimes his mom tries to convince him to practice with the paperwork, but he's really awful with numbers when he can't hold the munny in his hands, and maybe his mom will like that Kairi can do that better than he can, if he stays the heir to the business.

He hasn't told his mom yet that he doesn't think he really wants to be. He'll have to, once they confess, because some things you don't get to choose, and some things you should never give up.

And Sora likes being a hero. He doesn't like the pain and the sadness and all the ways he's been ripped apart inside, doesn't like to think about the way he feels in antiform, doesn't like to think about all the ways Riku was hurt or how many times Kairi's been taken from him, but he loves the worlds and he loves the people and he loves traveling, loves the light and the darkness both, because both are sweet and bright as life and sharp as death and they've both sheltered them, his most precious ones, and he could never hate anything that kept them safe.

So many plans and so many dreams and he wants to go wandering, to go to Halloween Town and finally see what kind of demon Riku is, to take Kairi to Atlantica, to train at Radiant Garden and Disney Castle, to climb the mountains in the Land of Dragons and maybe meet a real one for once, one that the Organization hasn't corrupted, one that isn't like Mushu.

One that isn't Maleficent.

A sometimes-ally is a sometimes-ally, but sometimes he dreams of shredding the darkness, but when he wakes up, he can't remember his dreams, and when he asks, Roxas always stays silent.

He won't ever ask Riku, not because he's afraid, but because he's so sick of hurting him, now that he's finally starting to understand.

Kairi says that none of them are to blame, not really, and he leans into her arms and trusts that it's true, because it is, because the worlds are so much bigger than they are, and if they're what the worlds have chosen, they never would have been able to get away from it, not really, and she's probably right, because she usually is.

Her magic is brighter than fire, burns clearer than any sun, and sometimes he catches a glimpse of it just barely bound by the cover of her skin, and it makes his cheeks heat and his fingers tingle just watching her, the fall of her hair and the curve of her lips, the way she laughs and rolls back to her feet when they're training, the flash of her keyblade in the sun and the press of her hands to his skin, the tang of ozone in the air in the wake of a too-quickly cast spell, and it will be amazing when she's finally able to try limit breaking, she'll be amazing, and he loves it here but he can't wait until it's safe for them to finally try.

This world is so beautiful, bright and precious and always and forever home, but looking at it now, he's slowly starting to understand that maybe...

Eloping would be easier, he's said it at least twice now, but Kairi rolls her eyes and Riku shakes his head, and Sora sighs and knows they're right, because coming home was supposed to be easier and just because it's been that way for him doesn't mean it's that way for everyone else.

He sees things a lot more clearly now, he thinks, than he ever has before, even if Riku keeps complaining that he's an idiot, but idiot or not, he knows that Riku's started staring at the horizon again already.

They'll just have to distract him, then.

Which is sort of terrifying. But awesome. But terrifying.

But mostly awesome.

He hopes.

* * *
- Lingual -

She watches the mirror and talks to Naminé in the morning, if she's not too sleepy, idle and aimless chatter about the day and the night and the twilight between, the progress she's making in her training and the odd sensation that is the hot clear burn of her power sliding underneath her skin, the endless blue of Sora's eyes and the distracting way Riku's shirt always rides up, the quiet concerns that are rapidly becoming louder, the way her father's started to look at her, the way he looks at her poorly-disguised boyfriends, the way her poorly-disguised boyfriends' parents have started to look at her, the new gossip Selphie's told her and the endlessly evolving rules of Tidus and Wakka's ballgame.

She kind of thinks they're going to accidentally drown themselves one of these days out of sheer enthusiasm.

Riku would listen if she spoke, and Sora would hear, but she likes having this now, another self to whisper to, a her-that's-not who keeps her own secrets and echoes her own laughter, because she's flung her whole life into them, but boys are boys and there are so many things they don't quite understand. She knows so many things she could say that would silence them into confusion and curiosity, and she's not good enough yet, she's not quite sure how to put things into words that they'll be able to understand, because her boys are barely human and exactly like every other teenage boy all at once. So she finds herself playing go-between, translating Riku's expressive silences into words that other people can understand, filling in all the gaps that Sora leaves in propriety and sense and everything else, and sometimes complaining about it to Selphie's sympathetic ears, even if she can't quite understand why it's such a problem, why she can speak their words well enough to translate, but not enough for fluency.

Part of the problem is that neither Sora nor Riku really speak ordinary person anymore, but that's not their fault, and even though she hated it, couldn't stand the waiting, maybe it's a good thing she was left behind to cover for them, to string together careful lies and keep the peace in their absence.

They can't help what they've become, Sora's always been like a small sun but it's focused now, sharp and brilliant, and Riku's gone from merely ethereal to a slice of moonlight made flesh, so between the two of them she makes sure to tug them back down to the ground, even when the temptation to let them sweep her off her feet is strong enough to make her falter.

Sora loves many people generously, and only a few selfishly, and those few selfish loves are quick to spark to heat, and beneath layers of shyness they make him needy, greedy, all eager kisses and clinging, always clinging, hands everywhere he can put them and spilling out radiance like the sun.

He gluts himself on kisses, on cuddling, on the quick light brush of his fingertips over their skin, on nearness and sweetness and blinding-bright fierceness, and it's probably ironic that he's wildly jealous when it comes to Riku but not at all when it comes to her, considering her track record of being kidnapped and Riku's sheer sneakiness, which has increased exponentially over the past two years even without him being able to slip through dark corridors at will anymore.

Riku loves only a few people, and does so with an intensity that is quiet, deep, and probably completely terrifying to anyone who's not them. In the beginning, she thinks, it was wilder, needier, and it scared her then, but with balance comes peace and Riku now is a brightdark shadowlit thing that makes her a tiny bit jealous of the darkness she'll never get to call her own, because she can see things now, and the blazing white light underneath her own skin is frighteningly different from everyone else, because even Sora has shadows singing through his brilliance, and everyone else is normal, shining in their own way, with different shades of shadow and light.

She breathes in and curls herself around Naminé, and smiles to see the way the light flickers, shades of cream and pale and barely-there touches of blue.

It would be easy for her, she thinks, to just wallow in it, in their attention and their love, the way she did when she was younger, before Riku's eyes filled with shadows and before she understood the tangled trip-wire that was love so thick it was strangling.

Many things become clear in the spaces between disasters, and everyone thought she was crazy for dreaming of Sora, but Riku, she thinks, would have understood.

Even though Sora beat him, even though she knew in her heart Riku was alive and still fighting, she still had nightmares of that man, and went to school in the morning red-eyed and wary, and on Riku's birthday she stayed home and cried until her insides hurt, and when she couldn't stand waiting any longer, she'd left to find them, and she thinks she always will.

Some songs are too loud to ignore, and some words are too precious to speak, so she holds their hands and smiles into their parents' confusion and defends them in ways that they don't even realize are necessary, because the world they rebuilt isn't exactly the same one that they left from, and that's all right.

In this, she can protect them.

* * *
- Lunacy -

It's funny, he thinks sometimes, remembering the fleeting brush of a hand against his shoulder and a whisper in the corner of his heart, that of all the laughing shadows he's met, all the ones who took one look at him and tried to woo him, that they could sense all his rage and his loneliness and never recognize it in themselves.

Lift the light to illuminate the darkness, and wrap the darkness around the light to let it shine, and sometimes he wants to grab them, shake them, scream at them because he can't possibly be the only one to realize it, there's no way that they can't understand, he can't be so utterly alone.

Every shadow he's met has been strung through with madness, no matter their veneer of civility, and sometimes he wonders if that will be his fate too, even with all of the king's reassurances, even with Naminé's soft confidence and Kairi's sympathy and Sora's adoration, even with his own certainty in himself.

Even so, it's nothing to be afraid of.

If he loses them, he'll welcome the insanity.

* * *
- Lust -

Their fights usually dissolve into childish scuffling because it's too dangerous to pull out keyblades anywhere but the play island even though Sora's fingers itch so badly sometimes because Riku can be all smirky and sarcastic and mocking like they're ten again and it's so hard to resist because he's been getting so antsy about not being able to practice and Riku would be so much fun to fight because he's always been so strong. He still gets shivery whenever he thinks about their limit break, the hot sizzle of Riku's power burning through his skin, like electricity on his tongue, and he wants to know what it would be like, not to be as cautious and careful as they have to be to train Kairi, not to keep the attacks simple and neat, to move just as fast as they can and hit as hard as they're able, and it really hasn't been that long but it feels like ages since he's had a good challenge and maybe it's making him a little bit stir-crazy.

Riku's arms and legs are longer and that's totally unfair except when it's completely fascinating but that means Sora gets his hair messed up a lot, so he's taken to a lot of bodychecking that hasn't actually done that much good since when they're close like that he can only hit with enough force to make Riku go "oof" and not actually enough to knock him over, which sucks, but then they usually fall over anyway because they start wrestling pretty much as soon as Sora can hit him, so that's all right, because those long legs and arms aren't quite as much of an advantage when they're both scuffling in the sand.

Wrestling's fun because they act like they're five again, pulling hair and yanking shirts up over each other's eyes even if it doesn't count anymore because Riku can see through them anyway, but traditions are important and so is squishing Riku's face in the sand, and tickling does so still count as a finishing move, and anyone who lands on a crab or starfish is automatic loser for the week, but they always fight on the play island so the crabs had learned better by the time they turned eleven, so the fights don't really end, they just sort of warp into something else.

It's kind of embarrassing to admit, but it had taken him almost a whole minute to figure out what was going on that first time he'd managed to wrestle Riku down into a full-body pin and Riku had put on the smirky face, which was usually a signal that he was about to get thrown into a coconut tree, but then Riku hadn't thrown him into a coconut tree, just kept smirking, which was a signal that Sora didn't know how to interpret. He'd come seriously close to asking if he'd done something wrong before Riku blinked, rolled his eyes, sighed heavily, and then yanked him down for a kiss.

No matter what Riku says, he didn't yelp. It was just unexpected, that was all, because sometimes it takes a minute for him to remember that brawling also means lots of skin touching and the heat of an adrenaline rush, and that Riku's smirky face doesn't always mean he's going to end up facefirst in the water, and that if he bites while they're wrestling Riku isn't going to punch him, he's going to cackle about fetishes and then lean over and bite Sora's fingers really softly and Sora's going to have to stop hitting him because he can't think when Riku does that and Riku knows it and takes advantage of it because Riku is a dirty cheater and also kind of a pervert.

...which Kairi seems to like even more than he does, so she might be right that he still has a little bit of growing to do to catch up with them, because she flirts with Riku when they're training her, the back-and-forth banter so flying so thick and fast that Sora can't keep up with it.

...mostly he knows that 'cause they told him, though. Riku also says she keeps trying with him, but that it doesn't work out because they're both so shy with each other, which is probably why he still hasn't succeeded in taking her bra off but Riku has. A lot. With both of them. A couple of times. Probably maybe almost definitely more than a couple with Kairi.

He... can't quite picture himself between them yet, because he just knows if he takes that invitation he'll die of blushing--just because nobody's died that way yet doesn't mean they couldn't--but Riku's said stuff, and Kairi's said stuff, and if it's that pretty when they're just making out he kind of thinks he might faint if they're doing that stuff right in front of him and expecting him to join in.

He kind of loves to watch them kiss because it looks so pretty, Kairi so bright and warm and vibrant against Riku's grace, and he loves the way Riku will drape his hand over her hip, the way she digs her nails into his chest, and he's thought about it so much, a three way kiss, sweet like her mouth and long and slow and deep the way Riku likes to kiss, but every time they've tried they keep bumping noses and tongues and lips, and it feels wonderful and silly and precious but it's not very sexy, especially when one of them inevitably winds up with Riku's hair in their mouth, and then they have to gang up on him and make threats about scissors and ribbons and pretty hairclips until he throws them both in the water and then gets distracted by the fact that Kairi's wet.

The only downside to the whole thing is that Kairi being wet distracts Sora too, and then she wins when they're busy staring at her, because. Wow.

She shoved a starfish down his shorts once, and dunked Riku while he was busy laughing, and then they had to chase her halfway across the beach and tackle her between them and kiss her until none of them could breathe anymore.

Somehow their kisses always wind up tasting like salt and his belts seem to pinch in all of the wrong ways and Riku doesn't know when to shut up and just make out already and Kairi really is bossy, but every time he winds up embarrassed and awkward and shy and flushed and blissfully happy.

* * *
- Lineaments -

"What makes a Princess?" she asks once of Riku, not Sora, because Sora might know in his heart but he could never articulate it, and Riku would understand the question better, anyway.

Because Riku is infuriating, he shrugs, and because he's a very attentive boyfriend, he picks up on her annoyance and takes a moment to try and fit words around something that he probably doesn't really have them for any more than Sora does.

"It's your heart," he says finally, "but it's not all of you."

She doesn't think it's the answer, not really, but she draws him to her and presses his hand up against her heart and asks, "Is it really okay?"

"Just 'cause it's unnatural doesn't make it wrong," Riku says, and she'll never understand why so many people think he's cold when he's so gentle with the ones he loves.

* * *
- Link -

It's not so much proposing as it is pointing out that they're going to get married as soon as possible. Kairi just giggles agreement, takes his hand and swings it, because she knows better than Sora ever could of the necessity of it all, and its impossibility, and anyway, she'd already agreed to marry them back when they were seven, even if he's the only one who remembers it.

Sora, on the other hand, turns so red and spluttering that Riku considers it a personal duty to make fun of him for the next three hours.

By which he means three days.

Okay, three weeks.

There's a three in it, anyway.

* * *
- Languid -

"We should probably go."


"We've got school soon."


"Gotta go change."


"Kairi, you're supposed to be the responsible one, stop agreeing with us."

"I'm comfy," she says, and wiggles a little. Sora gives a kind of startled squeak and Riku just smiles and says "Hmm," with a low sort of purr that makes Kairi wiggle again and Sora turn an even darker shade of red.

"Dude, your face."

"No, your face."

"Both of your faces," Kairi says dryly, then closes her eyes. "It's only a half-day anyway, and we don't have any classes, and I already did all the homework. Let me have my day off without you two being annoying."

"You're the one who has to graduate for real," Riku says agreeably, "but Sora's the one being annoying."

"I am not!" Sora protests, but then he has to stop because Kairi's got a really good grip on his bangs, and she's not afraid to pull.

"You both are, so shut up," she reiterates, and Riku rolls his eyes hard enough that they can probably hear it on the main island, but they're both pretty bad at disagreeing with her, so it only takes a little bit of shoving until they're curled back around her and drowsing their way through the morning sunrise.

* * *


Next fic: All Things Nice
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