Unnerved by lack of response to the message he left on Sora's phone, Riku goes to school in desperate attempts to speak with him.
At least he’d actually managed to get into school today, Riku thought, even if it was a total drag and he got a detention for not handing in his science assignment. And detention wasn’t that bad, compared to most days: he did get to share it with Wakka, who’d gotten run up for kicking a blitzball into the staff faculty window. The knowledge that everyone else was also stuck inside, staring boredly out classroom windows might’ve made detention a bit easier to handle. Same with the passing notes.
What the hell is miss even babbling on about anyway? He’d scribbled idly, aren’t they supposed to leave us to our peace to study in detention, or has the world gone crazy when I wasn’t looking?
Nah, Wakka wrote back, and Riku silently applauded his ability to not write the way he spoke, they changed the rules on us. Apparently one of the parents complained because their kid got bashed in detention and cried about it. They said it mightn’t’ve happened if there was adult supervision. So, this.
Yeah. A pause. You know what else sucks?
You being emo.
Riku sighed aloud. For the last time Wakka, I’m not emo.
Yes you are.
No I’m not.
How am I?
Wakka took the notebook away for a long time to write and by the time he handed it back the page was covered in dot points and stupid comments and a badly drawn picture of a cat.
“You know what, just forget it.” Riku said, tearing out the page and scrunching into a little ball to throw. The teacher didn’t even stop her mindless droning. “It never happened.”
“Look ya, I dun think that how Sora’s treating you is fair either, but that’s no reason to go all pussy and throw a hissy fit about it. He’ll come ‘round eventually, jus’ give him time.”
Lunchtime ended and Riku and Wakka and one or two nameless kids were let out of detention to return to class. Riku had Art, one of his electives, and the only composite class he had, like shared with the year before. It was fun, in it’s on way: he and Selphie had a great little argument about which radio station sucked more and someone started a paint fight in which every one screamed and yelled at each other and Riku again decided he’d fulfilled his word quota for the day and wasn’t saying another word to anybody, until he got blue paint in his hair.
Still, no Sora. What was the point in even showing up somewhere, Riku wondered, if your main reason to be there wouldn’t show? Selphie had confirmed his presence at school that day, so it wasn’t as if he wasn’t there. So what was the deal? Was he avoiding Riku or what?
Wakka had told him not to worry about it but really Riku couldn’t help himself, he’d been wondering all day and there was nothing else to think about except Sora Sora Sora, Sora as he yawned in maths, Sora as he glued in sheets in Geography, Sora as he stood under his umbrella at the school’s looming front gate, watching as Kairi paired of with Selphie to walk home and Wakka with Tidus and Tweedledum with Tweedle dee and-
“Hey.” A low voice said. Sora?
“Hi.” Riku managed.
“Let’s go.” Sora said.
Sora quietly apologized, watching the slush fill the gutters while they walked. Riku didn’t have to ask for what, and Sora then explained that his mobile had run out of batteries and he didn’t hear the message, but Wakka told him all about it at recess (traitor, Riku’s mind screamed).
“Don’t worry, you probably wouldn’t have wanted to hear it anyway. It was very… vocal.” Of all the adjectives in the world. Damn did he have no vocabulary.
“But it’s always good to hear what you have to say.” Sora said, “Because you don’t ever say all that much, when you do say something it’s important.”
“Way to be subtle, calling me quiet.” Riku grunted, and Sora laughed, resting a hand on Riku’s shoulder.
“See what I mean?”
No. Riku couldn’t see himself as anything past an antisocial loser with a strange haircolour and weird sense of humour, who was way too sappy for his age and gender and didn’t deserve a best friend so kind; damn, it was practically given that Sora was forgiven even before he apologized.
Of course, Sora didn’t know this, and was always weary of Riku’s reactions to everything, so it was with renewed hesitance that he removed his hand from Riku’s shoulder and asked, “do you ever want to, you know, sail away from here and have an adventure?”
“Sometimes,” Riku admitted, shoving his hands in his pockets. “But then I remember that this is my home, and how other people have reacted when their family or friends left them. I wouldn’t want to worry someone I care about like that.”
“Well, obviously, you’d be coming back.” It was that you in the sentence that set off imaginary alarm bells in Riku’s head. All Riku could think was he’s gonna pull a Cloud, his mum will never be the same, why would he do that to her, can’t he see she cares about him so much, even if it’s the wrong way of expressing it, Riku would kill for that. Sora just throws it away like yesterday’s nights sloppy stew.
“Sora, this is a purely hypothetical situation we’re talking about, right? You wouldn’t really-”
“I’m not sure what hypothetical means,” Sora interrupted before Riku could start, “but Kairi and I were thinking of building a raft at the special island this summer and setting out to sea. We were gonna surprise you, but I guess I just can’t keep a secret, yeah?” He winked. “This is my stop so gotta go, but I’d be happy to talk more if you wanna call me about it later.”
Riku would, despite not wanting to.
He knew that a storm was coming.
[*To Be Continued