Riku is forced to walk home half-naked in the rain after certain events lead to outstaying his welcome at Sora's house.
“Mama!” Sora cried. Riku quickly pulled himself off the older women, and Sora quickly rushed to her side to help her up.
The hag batted him away, and shakily stood up, waving a finger out at Riku. “You.” She accused.
“Me?” Riku asked, swallowing.
“How dare you set foot in this house, after I specifically forbade you not to, after all of what you did to my son. Didn’t your parents ever teach you manners, boy? I hope they’re ashamed of you … trespassing on private property … invading forbidden part … home …” The lecture seemed to go on forever. Something about Sora’s clothes, about the broken window; Riku’s feet just moved backward and backward and his hands rose to in front of his chest in an unconscious gesture of defence.
Sora was stomping down the hallway, yelling, “No! No, mama, It’s not his fault, it’s mine, listen to reason. Please.”
She wasn’t having any of it: her eyes were ablaze with fire.
“Can I at least-”
The door slammed in Riku’s face. “-get some clothes on.”
He was standing on Sora’s front door, in only his white silk boxers, in broad daylight. Not that was much light to be seen in the day. The thick, greyscale clouds blocked the sun and the rain blocked the clouds blocked the light blocked the darked blocked Riku. And in the background, the start of a fight he had never intended to cause (“Why do you always-” “Why do I? I was protecting you. It’s for your own … know better … room, stay-” “-hate you!-”).
Gods, this sucked. There was a lump in Riku’s throat. He’d never meant for this to happen, he’d only ever been trying to help Sora, he thought that if he went to school, he thought that if he visited him, then maybe his presence could cheer him up. Or Riku could, or something else could, but he was wrong, like usual, and now they were both miserable and not even miserable together.
Riku didn’t dwell on it. His wrist throbbed idly: he bent his arm and held it to his chest in remnants of something he remembered from a televised first aid course and looked up and down the street for any passer by who might catch him there, bereft, in a rare hour of weakness. No one. Nothing. Riku could yet still have his pride. It wasn’t a far walk home either, if he took the shortcut through the park.
He did take the shortcut, in the end. He scared some innocent schoolchildren who were jumping in park puddles and got prickles all through his feet and mud, and became even wetter than he was before. Better than walking through town – he’d probably get arrested - but damn, was he cold now, without his clothes, and so hungry too, why did he forget his schoolbag, maybe it would’ve been heavy to carry around but at least it had lunch and a jumper.
This was Riku’s line of mental thought, trudging through his front garden to the porch, not forgetting to check the snail-infested mailbox. He had no idea what he was meant to do, since the door was probably locked since his mum wasn’t back yet but at least the mail’d give him something to think about before the neighbours let their dogs in and got the shock of their life.
He was saved from the trouble of finding something else when surprisingly, he found the front door unlocked, and the answer to his next unspoken question lying down on the couch absorbed in a newspaper.
“Afternoon, son.” Riku’s father didn’t look up. “Hard day at school?”
Actually, he didn’t go, as the gates were locked and the sky was kind of pouring, cats and dogs and llamas, just in case you hadn’t noticed. “Yeah, dad. They whooped us up good, tons of homework and assignments and all that. Guessing since you’re home you did night shift?”
“Morning.” He answered. His eyes were fluttering. Hey, I stay awake when you talk, Riku joked mentally, except in actuality he was stumbling out of that room as fast as his feet would take him. He’d planned to do everything when he got home; take a shower, pig out on junk, watch some daytime T.V, read some more of his English novel… Now that he was there and ready to do all that his brain skipped out on him and told him to sleep.
It had been a pretty tiring day, admittedly. Half a day. It was really very lucky that Riku’s dad hadn’t caught him out on being home so early, or not, not wearing anything except his boxers, if it’d been his mum he probably would’ve got a roasting the moment he stepped into the neighbourhood. Riku yawned, ending that thought abruptly. All he had to worry about then, falling onto his bed and pulling unmade sheets over his wet, weary head was darkness.
He couldn’t understand. Why would anyone ever be afraid of the dark?
Once Riku’d finished what he left off the night before, in regards to sleep, he waddled out of bed and did all the mundane things he’d put off earlier, like clean, dress and get something to eat. His father had gone out to buy some groceries from the general store, he’d left a note, and so Riku didn’t have to worry about singing too loudly in the shower or being too much of a hassle. He did worry, however, about what he’d say when mum came home at her usual before-school ended time— she was likely to be more coherent and less understanding. Eventually Riku figured he’d just mumble something about it ending early because of hail warnings and retire quickly to his bedroom, but he’d been using that excuse a fair bit lately, (not that she’d ever notice) and he didn’t want to sound suspicious.
Something that was also a mundane thing that Riku didn’t want to sound suspicious in was calling Sora. Sure, he did it all the time, but he’d screwed up badly this time, and he wanted to sound as genuine as possible to Sora. He’d been avoiding it, but he knew he had to call sometime. He couldn’t just keep things on the terms they left with.
After psyching himself up for it, Riku locked himself in his room with his mobile, and only a ticking clock for sound accompaniment.
It rang three times, then:
“Heya!” A bright voice said.
“Hey, Sor-” Riku quickly replied, his hopes skyrocketing-
“You’ve reached Sora Strife’s voicemail-” Riku always confused it. Every. Single. Time. “-if you don’t mind my mandatory alliteration. I’m not here to talk at the moment but if you’ll drop me a line I’ll be more than happy to call back any time.”
That recording was so annoying. The rhymes sucked. Riku really was going to make Sora replace it one day. “Sora, it’s me. Riku.” He’d rehearsed this, it went fine, all he had to do was keep talking. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry for before, and if anything happened with your mum because of it. I shouldn’t have acted so rashly, and if it was my rash actions that meant we were caught. Also, umm… Are you okay, man? I mean, not just okay now, but okay all round? I want to know what’s got your neck because, well we’ve all, everyone, (like me and Kairi and Selphie and Tidus and maybe even Wakka), noticed the difference in your moods recently and just, if there’s anything you ever need to talk about, whatever you have to say: I’m always there for you.”
To Be Continued