Riku tells his best friend the truth. One-sided Riku x Sora.
Lately I've been thinking about a lot of things. Yeah, I can hear your voice now: "Riku, you think too much! Just relax." But I guess that's just how I am. I can't ever just take something for how it is, I've always gotta pick and pull at it in my mind. Back in those days, on the island where everything was just sunshine and laughter, everyone looked up to me. "Riku's so cool; he's got everything figured out." You were the same way. I realize now that it wasn't easy for you back then, being the normal (and let's face it--not extraordinarily intelligent) kid always getting ignored when I was around. But you still stuck with me. And I'm really glad that you did. That's one of the things I like best about you--no matter what, you'll stick by your friends. Even when I got cocky or ignored you, you always brought me down to my place. But I guess we've already had this little talk already, on that dark beach in the nonexistent world.
It's true, everything I said then. I was really the most confused of all, the most insecure. What's that they say about guys who are really insecure? They overcompensate by being overconfident. Yeah, that was me. And I guess what really got me during our little heart-to-heart on the beach was that you were so surprised by the truth. You always wanted to see the best in people, even as I was so unfair to you. Makes a guy think about his priorities. And I treated you real shitty, not even you could deny it. But without you, I don't know where I'd be right now. Dead, probably. Or lost to the darkness forever. But I didn't tell you the whole truth. Maybe even I'm not okay with the whole truth.
Maybe I'd better explain a little. When we were kids, everything was great. You were a buddy to hang around with. We both liked mock-duels and exploring the island. We got as close as too friends could be. Then things got weird. I started getting these crazy thoughts. I started noticing things I shouldn't, wanting things I shouldn't. All these girls at our school hanging around me, and you'd think eventually one of them would've caught my eye. Nope. Everyone had their different reasons: None of the girls were good enough for me, I was in love with Kairi, I was too immature to care about romance. I think Wakka was the only one who knew at first, but then, I guess it takes one to know one. He never said anything, but I could tell he sort of knew what was going on in my head. Probably 'cause he knew how hard it was to accept. It's not that I didn't tell you because I thought you would mind. I mean, you knew about Wakka (Hell, it was impossible not to know about him), and you even told me it didn't change anything.
I didn't tell you because you were the one I thought about that way. You wanna know the real reason I stopped racing you in swimming or playing blitzball with you? It wasn't because you were no competition. I just couldn't handle it. I think Kairi figured it out, eventually. She and I have always been really close in our own way. We were all still kids back then, so people didn't talk about us too much. It wasn't that weird for a girl to hang out with two guys. If we were older, they might have thought badly of a girl who would rather hang out with boys than girls. I can see those nuns on the main island convent now, sniffing distastefully and giving each other meaningful looks as they say, "That girl is simply shameless. Completely improper." I don't think Kairi would give a damn, but I would probably feel bad. I guess I've just always cared too much what people think. I'd seen what they said about Wakka. And I guess that's why I was denying it. I couldn't be a queer, I couldn't be in love with my best friend.
And I'm pretty sure Kairi knew what I felt about you, she even hinted at it a few times, tried asking about it. And I brushed her off like a jerk, the way I always did when I was afraid people were right. And I guess that's why I tried to get you two together. By teasing you about liking Kairi, I could deny my own feelings. If I convinced myself you liked her, I wouldn't have any reason to want you for myself. I think it was because of me saying those things that got you liking her in the first place. And it was because of me that she never tried to be anything more than friends with you, even though she liked you a lot. I think she felt bad because of me. And it really does make me feel like shit, because I never treated her that great, and she cared more about my feelings than her own. Kairi really is selfless. She's a really great girl so I would totally understand if you want to be with her. Well, she is a Princess of Heart. But I think at first she was a little scared. As I understand it, her family wasn't really the sort to accept their adopted daughter hanging around with a guy like that.
So basically, everything was really chaotic for me back then. I just felt so stifled in that place. I wanted to go out and find somewhere else, somewhere that maybe this thing could be accepted. Like, it wouldn't be any different than being left-handed or liking chocolate instead of vanilla. I wanted you and me and Kairi to sail away and find a place where we could all be happy. I pushed you further and further away the more I started to want you, and that was when the darkness got me. And I lied to myself. I convinced myself that I hated you for not feeling the same way, for not seeing. But you still tried to find me, tried to help me. And you did, you saved me, Sora. You made me face the truth. But by then, the only thing I could do was shut myself behind a door for you. I guess in a way, it was a good thing. It gave me time to think about this, get my priorities straight. But by the time I woke up again in that castle of nightmares I had another problem to deal with, and so I pushed everything else away for a while. I had to fight the darkness that was still in my heart, and I knew that there was no chance I could really have with you until I faced myself first.
When you saw me in the Nobody's castle, really saw me, that's when I found the strength in myself to cast the darkness out once and for all. And when we were talking on the beach, I really wanted to tell you everything. Truth is, Kairi said some stuff to me before you showed up. Basically, "If you don't think he loves you, you're an idiot." But I knew that you were thinking about her, waiting for us to come home. Her letter was for you, and I guess that was what made me bite my tongue. But Goddamn it, Sora, I wanted to kiss you so bad. I still do.
I'm writing this because I want you to know the truth. Because true friends don't hide things from each other. Because, maybe, I hope you feel the same way. But even if you don't, I hope nothing changes between us. I still love you, Sora, whether as a friend or something else. I wish I knew what you're thinking right now. Maybe I'm standing in front of you as you read this, and you're afraid to look at me. Maybe you're flashing back to all those times I got a little too close or stayed too far away. Maybe you'll react in a way I can't expect at all. I don't know, Sora: sometimes you're so simple and predictable, but sometimes you really surprise me. Here's to taking chances, then.
Riku paused as he finished writing, glancing monetarily over the words still shining in black ink, cross-outs and smudges in several places. He frowned, crumpled it up, and threw it in the waste bin. He started to get up from his desk, then stopped and, sighing in irritation, picked up the letter and tried his best to smooth out the wrinkles. Someday, maybe he'd find a use for it.