Sora tugged a little at his sleeves, already noticing the change in the weather since last week. The air was just beginning to get that chill that made him truly appreciate the warmth of the sun as it beamed down on him while he walked. It wouldn’t be long until he’d have to wear a jacket, and from there, his huge winter coat that his mom had insisted on buying him even though it made him feel like a polar bear with all it’s fur.

Once school had been dismissed, he’d felt a pang of disappointment that he no longer had to go to detention. Leaving the building hadn’t held the same joy that it usually did for him, and he’d unconsciously glanced around, hoping to catch a glimpse of his English teacher before he left for the day. He had really wanted to stay, but his sense of urgency at needing to talk to Riku had only grown, since his friend hadn’t even bothered to show up at all. Sora had been unable to get a hold of him on the phone, no matter how often he tried, and he was worried that he might’ve gotten into something serious. So ditching his detention was a necessary sacrifice if he was going to catch Riku before he left for the weekend.

Still… He couldn’t get Squall Leonhart out of his mind, and he’d come to accept that he was somewhat infatuated with his teacher. He knew that he wasn’t the only one, there were countless times where he’d caught another student’s eyes lingering a little too long on the enigmatic man during quiet reading time, their thoughts obviously not concerned with the text. He had even picked up on the way the female teachers deferred to Squall, with batting eyelashes, honey-toned voices, and sly smiles. The one thing that he noticed the most was the fact that Squall would have none of it. He guarded himself religiously, maintaining a strictly business demeanor that was disinterested, if not outright cold. Sora distinctly remembered overhearing that Squall Leonhart had all the social skills and human friendliness of a corpse, and had to bite his tongue to keep from giving the commenter a piece of his mind. He resented the things people said about Squall, but at the same time, he knew that it was true. Squall projected the image of an iceberg to everyone he interacted with.

Except me…Sora grinned, realizing how pleased he was with the knowledge. I’m not even sure what I did or said to make him treat me differently, but I’m glad I did it. Squall was like a locked box, to which only he had the key. The thought filled him with a possessive joy, and fanned the flames of his crush. He said that he likes me. I know he doesn’t mean it in that way, but… He knew that Squall’s statement indicated nothing more than a teacher’s admiration for a particularly bright pupil. Still, I can dream, can’t I?

He could smell the scent of burning firewood as he walked, absently reflecting on his conversations during detention. Although Sora had told his teacher a lot about himself, and Squall had encouraged him and shared his own tidbits, he still withheld enough to leave Sora wondering what type of man Squall was in his private life. What sorts of things does he like? What does he hate? What is he afraid of? What does he dream about? Does he have a girlfriend… or a boyfriend? Sora felt his face flame at the thought, and quickly looked around to see if anyone was watching. When he realized that the cars driving down the street were his only company, he let out a breath and felt quite stupid. Alright, now I know I’m going nuts. He could see the street Riku lived on, and quickened his pace, feeling somewhat guilty for thinking about Squall the entire way over. I should’ve been thinking about Riku, but I couldn’t help it.

Sora was somewhat shocked to see Lillian’s sky blue Dodge Neon parked in the driveway, but didn’t think much of it, as she often carpooled to cut down on gas expenses. He edged around the car, not wanting to fall into the azalea bushes that lined both sides of the drive, and stepped onto the sidewalk. A sense of nervousness overtook him when he reached the door, and his hand hesitated in midair. Maybe I should’ve thought over what I was going to say before I came by. But I guess, I didn’t really have the time. Resigned, he knocked, and stepped back slightly when he heard footsteps approaching.

Lillian answered the door, after peeking through the blinds to see who it was. She smiled at Sora warmly, her pale blue eyes shining with excitement. “Hello Sora. It’s always good to see you. Come to see Riku off?”

Sora nodded, mildly perplexed as to why Riku hadn’t answered the door himself. “Yeah. I’m a little surprised to see you at home, though. Anything going on?”

Lillian laughed, a sound that Sora had always liked, as far back as he could remember. “It’s that obvious? Well, Riku isn’t the only one going on a little trip. I’m going to a retreat with some friends for the weekend, and so I took off early today in order to get everything ready.”

Sora grinned. “Cool! So both of you have stuff to do. Too bad I’m going to be stuck at home this weekend, doing nothing.”

Lillian smiled at him knowingly. “Oh, I’m sure you’ll find something to get into. I know you’re not as innocent as you look.”

“Hey,” protested Sora, in mock anger.

“Just teasing!” Lillian amended, holding up her hands in a gesture of peace. “Well, don’t just stand there. Come in! I suspect Riku is asleep, or he would’ve trampled me to get to the door and let you in himself.” She stepped aside to allow Sora to enter, and closed the door once he’d passed.

“If he’s sleeping, maybe I shouldn’t bother him.” Sora offered.

“Nonsense.” replied Lillian, dismissively. “He needs to be awake now anyway, so that he can be packed and ready when his father arrives. So, somebody has to wake him up.” She gave Sora another knowing smile. “And better you than me. He’s less likely to snap at you.”

Sora fought and managed to keep his cheeks from turning pink. “If you say so. I’ll go on up then.” He crossed the living room, and started up the stairs. Usually he felt so at home in Riku’s house, the cozy décor reminding him so much of his own, only Sonja’s warm reds and browns were replaced by Lillian’s cool blues and greens. But today he felt anxious, no doubt because he hadn’t truly spoken to Riku since Monday, and that was odd for them. Well, whatever it is, I’ll find out today. He saw Riku’s door at the end of the blue-carpeted hallway, and figured that it must be locked. When he tried the knob, however, it turned easily in his hand, and he saw that Riku was indeed sleeping.

Riku lay on his back under his teal satin comforter, with only his face showing. His chest rose and fell with the rhythm of his breathing, and Sora felt the urge to tiptoe back downstairs, but he knew that Riku’s mom would just send him right back up. Feeling a little bad about ruining such a peaceful scene, he closed the door behind himself and walked over to where Riku lay, sitting down on the bed. Gently, he shook Riku awake.

Riku’s eyes opened slowly, blinking several times. “Wha?” When they focused on Sora, Riku lifted a hand and rubbed at them, before blinking again. “Sora? Are you really here?”

Sora grinned, thinking how cute it was to see Riku all disorientated like this. “Yeah, I’m really here.”

Riku blinked again, somewhat unconvinced. “Oh. It’s just that I always dream that I’ll wake up to see you looking down at me.” He pinched himself.

Sora felt slightly flustered by Riku’s unabashed confession, and tried to think of a suitable response. “Well, it’s not a dream… Ow! Hey! What’d you pinch me for?”

“Just making sure.” Riku answered, with a smirk. He sat up slowly, pushing away the comforter and scooting back against the pillows. He rubbed his eyes and yawned. “What time is it?”

Sora glanced at his watch. “It’s a little after three. Have you been sleeping all day?”

Riku yawned again, and nodded. “Yeah. I’ve been sleeping since I got in last night. But it feels like I didn’t get any rest at all.” He stretched, his arms rising high over him in a graceful arc, lifting his shirt and revealing the waistband of his boxers, before dropping to rest at his sides. “Hopefully I can get some rest over Dad’s house, and he won’t bug the shit out of me all weekend, but I doubt it.”

Sora’s brows furrowed. “Where were you last night anyway? I called, but nobody answered.”

“I was out.” Riku answered easily. “What, I’m not allowed to have a life?”

“But you were gone every night this week!” Sora protested, embarrassed at the way he sounded. I’m practically whining! I came over here to talk to him, not nag like a housewife or something! “Even Monday, when you told me to call you. I don’t care how cool you are, nobody has a life on a Monday night! But you were never home, and you even skipped school today…”

“Hold up,” started Riku, defensively. He’s got his nerve, getting in my business like this…I thought I only had one mom. He sat up fully, and fixed Sora with a look that usually made the other students haul ass when they saw it. It was the expression that warned you of the dangerous ground you were treading on. “I didn’t realize I was under investigation here. I haven’t committed any crimes. What are you? My fucking parole officer?” he snapped.

“I’m your best friend!” Sora shot back, frustrated. “God, why are you so angry at me? I just asked a question, and I can’t believe we’re having a fight over this!” He turned his back, upset and feeling dangerously close to tears. Riku had never yelled at him before for asking a simple question. Riku hardly ever even raised his voice at him for anything. The whole thing made him uneasy, and his eyes began to sting. Why do I have to be so damn sensitive? he thought, swiping at his eyes with the back of one hand.

“Sora,” Riku began, hesitantly. Oh shit, I didn’t mean to start a fight with him. “Hey man, are you crying?”

“No.” Sora snapped, his voice muffled. He didn’t turn around.

Riku scooted forward and placed a hand on Sora’s back. “Hey, don’t get so bent out of shape. I didn’t mean to bark at you like that, I’m just tired and cranky.” He rubbed Sora’s back, feeling very low. “And I’m glad you came over, although I don’t know why you did.”

“I was worried about you.” Sora mumbled, still not turning around. I feel like such a baby for crying like that, but at least we’re not fighting anymore. Slowly, he turned around and looked at his friend. “It’s like I said, you’re never home, you don’t talk to me at school, and you and I always talk to each other. We tell each other everything.” This wasn’t entirely true, he was keeping his own little secret from Riku as well. But my secret is just a harmless crush, it isn’t hurting our friendship or anything. “I mean come on, Riku. We’ve known each other forever. What’s going on?”

Withdrawing his hand, Riku laid back onto the bed, his head resting on a pillow. He sighed heavily, and shook his head. “You wouldn’t really understand, Sora.”

Sora gaped at him. “Are you on drugs?!” I hope Riku’s not on drugs, because then he’ll have to go to rehab, or jail, or worse, and then where will I be? “Riku?”

Riku laughed dryly. “Some people would say sex is a drug, I guess.”

“I don’t understand.” Sora said, confused. What on earth is he talking about?

“It’s Jake.” Riku said with a note of disgust that made Sora uneasy. He sighed again. “Jake Addison.”

Sora blinked. “Okay…” he began hesitantly. “What about him?” An emotion that was uncomfortably close to jealousy began to swirl up within him. Oh man, don’t tell me that Riku is falling for him.

Riku rolled onto his back, trying to find the words. Finally, he rejected all of them and folded his arms behind his head. “I’ve been seeing him.” he said simply.

Sora felt a jolt of pain at the declaration, although he didn’t understand why. Why do I care? Not really wanting to talk about Jake, but knowing Riku needed to confide in him, he floundered for something suitable to say. “Well… I thought you were already done with that.”

Riku sighed heavily and spoke with the pained resignation of someone who is explaining something complicated to a child. “It was supposed to be a one time thing. You know, I smash him once, and then I can add his name to the list of others that I’ve had. Just like always, I never go back for seconds. But then…” Riku’s silver brows furrowed. “He started getting weird on me, and then… Monday night, he wanted me to come over, so I did… And I’ve been doing it every night since then. Even during the school day, actually.”

Sora was aware of the hurt feeling coming back, stronger this time. So that’s why Riku hasn’t been at lunch. How lucky for him. “Wow.” he managed.

“Wow is right. It’s almost like he’s addicted.” Riku shook his head. “I don’t how I’ll ever get rid of him now. I think he might be getting attached to me or something.”

Sora bristled, the mixture of hurt and jealousy taking over. “Gee Riku, you make it sound like you’re doing him some kind of favor. You’re not that good, no matter what you think. So just get over yourself already.”

What the hell? Riku glanced up sharply. He looks like he’s really pissed. Not that he has anything to be mad about. I thought he’d be happy I wasn’t all over him anymore. He blew out a puff of air, causing his long bangs to lift up and resettle. Whatever. “Yeah, like you would even know, you prude.” he muttered, rolling over.

Sora’s anger dissipated, and a gnawing sense of disquiet arose within him. It was as though in Riku’s gesture, he was turning his back on their friendship. Sora felt a sudden irrational fear that he was losing his best friend over this stupid thing with Jake. The thought of Riku not being there for him after all of the years they’d spent together frightened him greatly. He sighed. Why is he even with Jake anyway? Why can’t he just have some self-control like me? Then again, if it’s me that he really wants, maybe if I just tried to see things from his point of view… What am I really thinking? Swallowing hard, he summoned up the courage and spoke, the words sounding shaky to his ears. “You’re right… I don’t know. So… why don’t you show me?”

Riku snorted, but didn’t turn around. “Don’t be an ass. What type of game are you playing at, Sora?”

The lack of hope in Riku’s tone dampened Sora’s spirits further, but he forced cheerfulness into his response. “I’m just saying, you’re always talking about how good you are and stuff. Well I say, prove it.”

Now Riku did roll over, and his aqua eyes were wary and questioning. “Sora,” he began carefully. “Are you running a high fever? Did you fall and hit your head? Because you’re not making any sense. What is it that you want?”

Sora took a deep breath. “You know… I want you to put the moves on me.” Not exactly, but I don’t know what else to say.

Riku stared at him for a moment, and then burst into laughter. “The moves?!” I never thought I’d see the day… “And you… had the nerve… to ask me…. if I was on drugs.” he said, between laughs. He rolled onto his back, his body shaking with the force of his laughter. “Holy shit…”

“Don’t laugh.” Sora pleaded, embarrassed by Riku’s antics.

In response, Riku only laughed all the harder, kicking his legs as he did so. “I think… I’m going to laugh myself to death…” An image of the weasels from Who Framed Roger Rabbit popped into his head, and he was helpless, rolling from side to side, howling.

Sora’s cheeks flamed. “I don’t see what’s so funny.” he stammered, insulted. “I mean, don’t you like me?”

Suddenly Riku did stop laughing. His humor faded quickly, as he stared at Sora, scrutinizing, looking for signs that he was joking. He found none. “You’re really serious about this.” he said at last. His heart picked up it’s pace as he realized the implications of what his friend was telling him.

Sora nodded and swallowed. “Yeah, I think I am. I guess…” I’m not even sure what I’m saying myself. “I mean, you do like me, don’t you?”

Like you? thought Riku. I love you. He averted his gaze. “Sora, you know how I feel, but I don’t see how it would help anything.” Am I crazy? He practically gave me permission to grope him, and I’m making excuses?! Oh my God, what gives?! His eyes returned to Sora, and he sighed. “Come on, man. I know the deal by now. I make a move on you, and you get disgusted and pull away, then I pitch a fit and throw you out on your ass. Is that about right?”

Sora knew that it was indeed a pretty fair representation of how it usually happened, but he didn’t say that. What he said instead was, “And what if I don’t pull away this time?”

Riku blinked. He won’t pull away? “I don’t believe you.” he challenged. “You told me yourself, you’re not attracted to guys. Not even me, despite my stunning good looks.” he teased, trying to slow his pulse.

Sora briefly looked away, before turning back. That was before I realized that I have a crush on our English teacher. “I changed my mind.” he said, softly. His own heartbeat was racing, and his mind was turning over all the possibilities that could arise from his behavior. Is this really the right way to deal with the Jake situation? What if I do pull away? What if I can’t help it? Riku would never talk to me again… But what if I don’t pull away? What if I like it, and then what? He licked his lips, expectantly. I think I’ll chance it.

Riku drew in a sharp breath, mesmerized. “You are out of your mind.” Still, I might not get another chance like this again. If he bolts, it won’t be anything I’m not used to, anyway. Hesitantly, he sat up, and drew closer to his friend. “Are you sure about this?”

Sora nodded firmly. “Yeah.” Of course I’m not sure, you fool! Oh my God, just do it before I lose my nerve! “What, are you chickening out on me, Riku?” he taunted weakly.

Riku smirked. “Never.” Not one to resist such a blatant challenge, he quickly leaned forward and pressed his lips to Sora’s, all of his fears melting with the contact. It took his senses an awkward moment to realize that his friend was not pulling away. Oh, wow… The knowledge caused his body temperature to increase, urging him to deepen the kiss.

Sora felt his own blood rushing through his veins, and closed his eyes. To his surprise, he felt no desire to pull away. Instead his body was answering to some siren call of Riku’s, that he had previously been immune to. Without his knowledge, his hand had found its way to Riku’s exposed thigh, grazing over the smooth flesh. When he felt his friend shudder against him, an unexplainable thrill coursed through him, and he brushed his tongue over his lips.

Riku growled low in his throat.

Somehow Sora found himself on his back, the delicious weight of Riku atop him. Warm hands were roaming under his shirt, seeming to be everywhere at once. Riku’s lips pressed against him, his tongue twining hungrily with his own. It was like the feeling he got when Riku looked at him that way, only stronger. It was like the tingle he’d gotten from being pinned to the locker, only a thousand times worse. Hazily, he realized that it was lust.

Riku devoured the kiss, giving everything he had to it. Anything he’d ever done to Jake, to Selphie, to any of the random masses he’d touched, it was nothing compared to this. This was the only thing he’d ever wanted, the only thing he’d ever needed. To hell with the rest. Sora’s skin was incredibly smooth, the friction between their bodies unbearable. He moved his lips to Sora’s neck, enthralled by the way he arched beneath him. His hands abandoned their assault on Sora’s chest, straying lower.

The sound of the zipper was terrifyingly loud against the silence and heavy breathing.

Sora yelped. “Riku?!”

Damn… I knew it was too good to be true. “Hmm?” he murmured against his neck.

“You’re moving way too fast!” Sora squeaked, despite his body’s enthusiastic protests to just shut up and let it happen. “I’m not quite ready for that.” he said, apologetically.

Well, it’s a start. Reluctantly, Riku sat up, his thighs straddling Sora’s hips. “You’re going to be the death of me.” He ground his pelvis experimentally, smirking at the way Sora gasped and scratched at the sheets. “Still, you seem pretty ready to me.” he teased.

“I know,” Sora panted. “But still…oh… would you stop doing that?!”

“Nah.” Riku teased, and began to move his hips in an insistent rhythm. “Why should I? Give me a good reason, and I’ll stop. Maybe.” I don’t even think I can stop.

Sora took in a sharp breath and let it out in a shuddering moan. “Because, if you don’t stop…” He closed his eyes for a moment, before reopening them. “If you don’t stop…”

Riku leaned down, his hips still moving, his lips inches from Sora’s. “If I don’t stop?” he whispered seductively.

“If you don’t stop,” Sora breathed. “You’re going to have to change your sheets.”

“Oh no.” Riku whispered. “Wouldn’t want to have to do that.” He lowered his head, and bit Sora on the ear possessively. You’re all mine now. I don’t know how it happened, and I don’t care, because you’re all I ever wanted. “Mine.” he purred against Sora’s skin. He shivered when he felt Sora’s hands come to rest on his hips, pulling him firmly against his body. This was the Sora he dreamed about, the one that he never thought he would find.

“Riku…”

It wasn’t the first time Riku had heard his name said that way, but coming from Sora, it thrilled him like never before. Fuck it, I practically own him now. I’ve waited too long for this. He was about to throw caution to the wind and have at Sora, damn the consequences, but a series of sharp raps on his door cooled his ravenous spirit instantly. “Oh hell no…” he gritted. Fearfully, he turned his head and looked at Sora’s wristwatch. “The fuck?!” he exclaimed.

“What is it?” asked Sora, still panting. He felt like he was barely even aware of his surroundings now.

“It’s him.” Riku hissed, and jumped off the bed. “He’s early as hell, but it’s him. Nobody else I know knocks like a fucking interrogation squad coming to take you off to be tortured.” He ran his hands through his disheveled hair in an attempt to return it to a state of normalcy. Goddamn that man to Hell! If he finds me like this with Sora… He turned back to Sora as though just remembering what they’d been doing. “Don’t just lay there with that ‘fuck me’ expression on your face! Get up! Move! Open the window for crying out loud.” he whispered urgently.

Alarmed, Sora left the bed and obediently opened the window. The air that came in was colder than it had been when he had walked over, and he wondered if Riku’s father might think them insane for having the window open on such a cool day. His mind returned to his thoughts as he’d left school. He’d been determined to resolve the weird situation between them somehow. And I guess we did resolve it, after all.

The series of knocks repeated themselves, somewhat louder this time.

“Yeah?” Riku called, hoping to buy a little time. “You’re kind of early, you know. What do you want?”

“You must have me confused with your mother, Riku. You know damn well that I do not converse through doors. Open up.”

“Just a minute.” Panicked, Riku shot a glance at Sora, who had quickly turned on the Sega Dreamcast, smartly keeping the volume on mute.

Intently, Sora steered Sonic the Hedgehog through a maze of rings, seemingly unconcerned with the drama unfolding around him. He doubted that Riku’s father was unaware of his son’s promiscuity, but somehow he knew that if it was suspected that he was included in Riku’s exploits, it wouldn’t go over too well.

Riku quickly restored the bed to a semblance of tidiness, knowing that his father would be suspicious if it was any less than perfect. They were both somewhat anal retentive when it came to cleaning. Too bad it’s not the only thing he’s obsessed about, Riku thought.

“Young man, if you do not open this door immediately, you will rue the day you first took breath into your body.”

Time’s up. Here goes nothing. Willing himself to act normal, Riku walked over to the door and opened it.

As always for Riku, it was like looking into a mirror and seeing himself twenty years from now. He was an almost exact copy of his father. The incandescent silver hair was his own, the eyes that were caught somewhere between blue and green, the slim yet muscular build, even the long lashes matched perfectly. The only difference was that Riku had inherited the paler complexion of his mother, and he still had yet to attain the full height that Sephiroth possessed.

Sephiroth still managed to look business-like in his gray turtleneck, and black slacks. Riku knew that even though his father was dressing down for him, the shirt alone probably cost more than the entire contents of his closet. “What is the meaning of this?” Sephiroth demanded. “Does it always take you an eon to open a door?”

“You’re early.” Riku said simply. “I wasn’t expecting you until later.”

Sephiroth sighed, and regarded him with one of his bored looks. “Perhaps I didn’t want to have to drag you down after sunset. God alone knows where you’d get off to on a Friday night.”

Riku huffed and got ready to respond, when a sharp glance cut him off.

“Or perhaps, I intend to take you out to dinner at a proper restaurant? Home cooked meals have their charm, but surely even you must grow weary of them after a while.”

Riku rolled his eyes and made to speak, when he was cut off again.

“Or perhaps, I simply felt that I should not have to adhere to a set time constraint in this matter. I keep a schedule with all of my business affairs, yet the thought that I should have to make an appointment to see my own son, it irks me greatly. Do you understand?”

“But I have to make an appointment to see you.” Riku shot back, glowering. This is what I have to look forward to. A weekend full of emotional mind-fucking. I hate him, so much.

Sephiroth sighed and patted him gently on his shoulder. “I cannot help it if my schedule is so much fuller than yours.” His eyes softened somewhat. “Enjoy your youth, Riku. Someday you may have a company of your own to preside over, and then you will not detest me so much, for you will understand where I am coming from.”

Riku sighed, ignoring the tiny pangs he always felt at hating Sephiroth. He knew that he was the only thing in this world that his father truly loved, and he was just bad at showing it. Still, I’ll never forgive him for the way he treated Mom. Brushing Sephiroth’s hand off, he tried not to sound as irritated as he felt. “I’m not ready, okay?”

Sephiroth moved closer and looked over the top of his head. “Hmm, might that have anything to do with the fact that your friend is in your room playing that video game of yours?” Before Riku could stop him, he waved slightly. “Good afternoon, Sora.”

“Good afternoon, sir.” Sora replied, pausing the game.

“How is your mother doing? Are you keeping out of trouble? Doing well in school?” Sephiroth questioned, ignoring the way Riku’s eyes rolled in his head.

“She’s fine, I never get in trouble, and school is great, sir.” Sora answered politely.

“I‘m glad to hear it. You’re a fine boy, Sora.” Sephiroth returned his attention to Riku. “Well, I suggest you hurry up, lest you go hungry this evening. I let the cooks have the night off, and I will not revert to Pizza Hut if you cause us to miss our reservations at the Blue Swan. You and I shall simply fast together, a new sort of bonding, if you will.” Without waiting for a reply, he turned and walked briskly down the hallway, his back impossibly straight.

Resisting the urge to scream, Riku closed the door. Groaning, he slumped against the door in frustration. “Fuck! Why is it, that every time I lay my hands on you, someone or something interferes and ruins me? Why?”

“It must be my guardian angel.” Sora smirked, turning off the video game.

“Guardian sadist, you mean.” Riku muttered.

“Whatever.” Sora teased, still smirking.

“Wipe that look off your face and help me pack, before I pin you down and finish what we started, and to hell with what my father has to say about it.” Riku threatened. He opened his closet and tugged out a large black duffle bag.

Blushing, Sora pulled the duffle bag over to where he sat. “Yeah, yeah.” He glanced awkwardly around the room. “Um, what do you want me to do?”

“Just put the stuff that I toss to you in the bag, but fold it first.” Riku answered, poking around in the closet. “I don’t want my clothes all wrinkled, or my father will bug the shit out of me.”

“You don’t think you’re being a little hard on him?” Sora asked. He caught a nice burgundy shirt that Riku tossed him, and folded it anyway.

“Nah.” Riku assured him. “You heard his little crack about home cooking? That was one of his biggest complaints about ma. She wasn’t a good enough cook for his highness.”

“I like your mom’s cooking.” Sora replied, folding a navy blue shirt. It was true. He liked everything about Riku’s mom, and he didn’t understand how anyone could ever find fault with her for anything.

“So do I. He can stuff the entire Blue Swan, and everyone inside it, right up his ass.” Riku proclaimed.

I doubt that it’d fit. Sora burst into laughter, knowing it was wrong, but helpless to stop.

Riku turned around and watched him, his mood brightening. “I didn’t say it to make you laugh, but if it did, then oh well.”

Sora grinned back at him. “I guess it’s your payback for laughing at me earlier.”

Riku nodded slowly. “Maybe it is.” Hesitantly he walked over to where Sora sat on the floor, folding. “About earlier…” he began.

Sora looked up, anxiety suddenly settling in the pit of his stomach. “Yeah?”

Riku dropped to his knees and took Sora’s face in his hands. “I hope I’m not being too forward, but…” His eyes lowered to roam boldly over Sora’s entire form before returning to his face. “I want you.”

Sora felt his face grow hot. “I know…” he managed.

Riku brushed his thumb over Sora’s cheek, his eyes searching. “When I get back, I’m going to call Jake, and break it off with him. You’re the only one I wanted in the first place, and now that I have you, I won’t have anyone else. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Sora swallowed hard. In his mind he had known that it might come to this, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted it, but he didn’t dare pull away. Not with the almost desperate way Riku was looking at him. Besides, it’s not like we’re getting married or moving in together. It’s probably just a temporary thing. He nodded.

Riku smiled warmly, his eyes lighting up. “Great. Now when girls hit on you, you can tell them that you already have a boyfriend of your own.”

Sora opened his mouth to respond, and was somewhat shocked at the speed with which Riku’s lips had found his. Once again he felt as though he was at the mercy of his hormones, his tongue brushing insistently against Riku’s, his fingers digging into the soft carpet. When Riku finally pulled away, it left him breathless.

“That’ll have to tide us over until I get back.” Riku murmured. “The weekend never seemed so long before. I’m going to miss you, Sora.” He rested his chin on his friend’s shoulder and sighed in contentment.

“I know,” Sora answered softly. But will I miss you the same way?

<--- Back to Change My Stripes