* * *
by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts is not mine.

AN: This isn't quite a real chapter. Instead, it's a chapter tag for Chapter Eight of rayemars' Resuming, Returning, which everyone should be reading, because my KH fic and her KH fic sort of take place in a shared universe that kinda runs on parallel lines. Her half's the bit with the plot.

* * *

Sora stays quiet when they reach his house, when they scramble into his room, but he keeps closer than usual and doesn't squeak or blush when Riku tugs at his shirt, just toes off his shoes and shrugs out of his clothes, then collapses on the bed, not his usual sprawl, just an awkward kind of flop. When Riku pokes him on the nose, he blinks once, too slowly, then shifts over. It usually takes a lot of wiggling for them to both fit, but Sora curls in on himself, and when Riku pokes him in the side, he doesn't try to scramble on top like he usually does, just rolls onto his side so he's facing the window.

"Hey," Riku says, because he doesn't like being ignored and Sora's silences are always unsettling, "we'll figure it out."

That gets Sora to lean back enough to offer him a slight smile, but there's a distance there, and when he says "Yeah, I know," his voice is just a little too soft.

Riku's skepticism must show on his face, because Sora blinks, smiles again, then reaches for his hand. "I know we will," he says, a little stronger this time, and curls their fingers together, leans back against him and makes a small show of settling Riku's arm around his waist and curling their joined hands against his chest.

It's... a little weird--Sora and Kairi always like to sprawl on top of him, Naminé's the only one he's ever noticed who likes being held like this--but even if the feelings are faint, it must be unsettling, so he guesses he can put up with it.

Unfortunately it means he's going to be stuck with a faceful of Sora's hair all night. Clearly he is the most tolerant boyfriend in all of the worlds to put up with this kind of abuse, especially after the egregious poking he was subjected to earlier.

* * *

"Oh, hey," Sora says, "am I asleep?"

Duh, Roxas says, you might not have noticed but we're kind of tired.

"Not that tired," he protests, "I don't feel sleepy."

You shouldn't feel sleepy while you're asleep, Roxas points out, and okay, yeah, Sora can kind of understand that, but he's kind of wondering what he's doing here, since Roxas has been quiet all night.

Oh come on, Roxas says, something weird's going on, did you think I was gonna ignore it?

"Guess not," Sora says, "so why didn't you say anything earlier?"

Roxas gives him kind of a funny look. What, while you were with Kairi? And you took Riku home.

"They'd listen to you," Sora says, "shouldn't we all be talking about this stuff?"

Yeah, but Naminé and Kairi were falling asleep, and you took Riku home.

"So? I take Riku home all the time."

Roxas gives him kind of a scowly look. Yeah. Not taking that risk.

"What risk?"

His whole face scrunches up at that. I don't wanna talk to him when he's in your bed. Or, like, ever that close. Or ever.

"Hey," Sora protests reflexively, even though he knows how awkward it's been between... all three of them, actually, now that he's thinking about it.

And none of that matters, Roxas continues pointedly, 'cause I've been trying to figure this out.

"Yeah?" That's the best news he's heard all night, because he doesn't have any idea, and Kairi doesn't so Naminé doesn't, and Riku doesn't, and anything is better than this.

--I said trying, Roxas says. Anyway, Riku was right, it's not from your memories, I don't think.

Sora blinks. "What, you can see those?"

--sometimes, Roxas says after a long pause. Some of the stuff you forgot from Castle Oblivion.

"Cool," Sora says, because that's pretty awesome, that they're all still there, even if he can't get to them. "But you don't think that's part of it?"

Nah, Roxas says, then hesitates. It doesn't--feel like you. And I don't think it's mine, but my memories got scrambled before too, so...

"So we don't know?"

We know it's not--it's not us, anyway, Roxas amends.

"But then whose is it?"

We'll ask the girls when we wake up, Roxas says. And--mm. Riku might--no, he'd have said if he recognized it.

"Yeah," Sora agrees, "Wait, what?"

Not the feelings, Roxas says, rolling his eyes. Just the--you know. The darkness stuck to it.

Sora closes his eyes for a minute, trying to see, but it just feels like faraway grief, sadness like drowning and and ache that will never ever die. "Yeah," he agrees, "I guess there would be a lot of shadows there."

Roxas shifts his weight a little, glancing down to the stained-glass floor. Yeah... you really didn't notice?

"Notice what?"

...that he's been pushing the shadows away all this time?

Sora knows he's a little slow sometimes, that he doesn't always catch all the details, but there's a little niggling twist of nastiness in his chest whenever Roxas talks about Riku, and it's stupid because the two of them don't even like each other, and there's less than nothing to be jealous of but he hates that he can't read Riku the way that everybody else seems able to, hates that Riku knows it too, and it's silly and childish and--

And Roxas is fidgeting because he's creeping him out, so Sora shakes his head and smiles and says, "I guess I'm not surprised," because, really, he's not.

Yeah, Roxas says shortly. So--that was all I had to say.


So I'll just, er, go somewhere else. And ignore you now.

"Wait, what for?"

The look Roxas shoots him is pure poison. Oh, and after I said that you're not going to go try and suck his face off like always?

"Erm," Sora says, and Roxas nods decisively and says Yeah, that's what I thought, and then Sora's standing alone on a glass tower, and he closes his eyes, breathes in, and moves.

* * *

When he opens them again, it's a little too warm and there's a weight on his hip and tension ripples up his body like a wave before he remembers where he is.

"Hey," Riku says softly, low and warm against his ear, and it's silly but it still makes his skin tingle.

"Hey," Sora answers, and rolls over to face him. He doesn't look sleepy, or rumpled, and the first thing he asks is "Did you actually fall asleep, or were you talking to Roxas all this time?"

--Riku is weird and creepily insightful sometimes.

"--maybe," Sora says, and "he says it's not mine or his so it must be somebody else."

"That makes sense," Riku murmurs, "if it were yours you'd have noticed it sooner, but if it were his... how sure was he that it wasn't his?"

"Pretty sure?" Sora guesses. "But I guess--oh. You mean we might not know that it was ours."

"Yeah," Riku agrees. "If you don't remember anything else about it, only the feeling, then..."

"You think we can still feel the memories we can't remember?"

"'course. Kairi could."

They're not Kairi, Sora considers saying, but then again... "Argh. Why don't we ever know anything?!"

"Grownup conspiracy," Riku answers immediately. "Or grownup forgetting on accidental purpose."

"Oh, c'mon, it's not like they would--" and then Sora thinks of months of not knowing and knowing that the king knew and he thinks, oh.

Riku's watching him with an arched eyebrow. "Get it now?"

"...yeah. That--sucks."

"Yeah," Riku agrees, "yeah, it does."

Plans are Riku's thing, not his. "So we..."

"We wait."

Sora makes a face. "I hate waiting."

"You get used to it," Riku says dryly, "especially if you're waiting for slowpokes like you."

"Hey," Sora says, and gives him a shove, but then he thinks of those long months of uncertainty again, and thinks of all that time he lost by sleeping, so the shove melts into kind of an awkward caress, and then Riku's giving him a speculative look, and...

Okay, maybe Roxas has a point, but it's not always, it's just... often. Really often. ...and anyway, it's not lonely anymore.

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