Riku goes to the airport to find Tidus.
Something he didn't think he could get used to was the Sora's presence absent from the defining moment-- he'd always been there to share a time with even if they were fighting, even if it was a bad one and Riku was ignoring him and telling him to go away, he was always there. Maybe the reality of him being gone just hadn't sunk in yet, because Riku still felt as if he should be there, cheering from the sidelines and running along the road beside him, waving, or whooping with glee as he doubled on the bike with him, arms wrapped around Riku's waist.
Not that he wanted this thing any heavier, hell no. It'd taken four tries to start up, two stalls and although it had wicked acceleration and stability to kill for, he'd grown up riding his uncle's odd and old assortment of Yamaha dirt bikes, and the controls for the gas were still a bit iffy to him.
So he had to doubly remind himself to add the right handbrake to the halted clutch when he slowed at the lights, and not to release it too early as he accelerated to turn, leaning to the left. The airport wasn't too far from here, just a couple of hundred metres, a downwards ramp, two left turns, and a right-down one he knew he would ace.
Well he thought he would anyway. On actually attempting the quick manuvre he skidded, and panicking, reached for the brake in the wrong spot, to find it somewhere else just too late.
Luckily, Riku's fall was broken by a conveniently placed sidewalk bush, and he only blacked out for a second, but unfortunately the bike wasn't so lucky. It'd flipped onto its side and scraped its way to the other side of the road. Groaning, Riku picked himself up and stumbled over to it to assess the damage, thinking about how bad it would be for some big fuel truck or whatever to come rolling down the road just about now. For whatever karmaric reason it didn't, but Riku decided that maybe making the rest of the way on foot was a good idea, and that he should probably stick the bike in the bushes so nobody stole it (it looked pretty expensive, the car park was too obvious and he didn't have a chain to tie it up with in case someone tried anyway.)
Once he'd done this, Riku started walking over to the carpark, trying not to look suspicious with his hands shoved in his pockets, and his eyes staring down the pathway, a slight limp the only foresight to his recent motorbike accident. He'd gotten changed behind a tree before he went to Sora's place so at least he wasn't wearing his pyjamas as he walked into the airport, but the white hair was pretty personally identifying, and cutting the line to shuffle to the start of the check in line - he couldn't waste anymore time -did attract him some negative attention.
"Sorry," he started, and the check in chick looked up, eyes quickly jumping from him to the grumbling customer behind him. "I don't have any baggage with me to hand in, since I've handed it in already, but I wanted to know if you could tell me my flight terminal, I kind of forgot." He scratched his head for added embarrassed nice guy effect.
"May I see your ticket?" She asked, all smiles.
"I uhh, don't have one... " Think quick, think quick. But keep it simple? "My friend was holding on to it for me when I got lunch, since he knows I have trouble remembering things sometimes and I think he went off the terminal with it and told me to meet him there when I was done, but then I forgot--"
"What's your name, kid?" She interrupted.
"R- Tidus," He said, most likely his dumbest introduction ever.
Riku tried to think. What was Tidus' last name? "Umm," Dude, he played this role way too well it was worrying. He really couldn't remember. "Smith. I'm Tidus Smith."
"Where you going?"
"The gardens." At least he knew that for sure.
The baggage chick gave him an odd look as she typed it into her computer and read out the flight details, and then with a straight face added,"In future, Mr. Smith, please just check the flight timetable on the wall to your right for information regarding you departure, it wastes less time. NEXT!"
Riku jumped a little, then quickly recovered, giving her the mental finger and a mutter about something else being a waste of time as he continued on and past the metal detector drug thing, (had to take of his belt and wait for it to come through, which took forever) and past the shops to the terminal hall: Tidus' flight was at gate 23 at the other end of the airport building, and Riku had to run down as fast as he could but it could've been faster but it wasn't because the Destiny Islands Council was too cheap to buy travelators.
"Flight 102, Destiny Capital to Balamb Gardens now boarding."A loudspeaker announced.
Which prompted Riku to increase his run to a sprint, almost missing the gate in his haste. When he did reach it the waiting room was all but empty except for a receptionist at a desk, arguing with someone on a phone so avidly: she didn't notice as Riku zoomed past, tripping down the air bridge in his haste.
"Tidus!" he yelled, spotting a short yellow head in a sea of tall brown ones.
"Oh my god Tidus, I can't believe I finally find you." Riku was gasping, a hand on the guy's shoulder.
Tidus wasn't paying attention.
"But I'm thirteen!" He was hotly protesting to asympathetic-looking flight attendant. "My father paid for this flight and everything in it, you can't stop me from going on that plane, not when he trusted me to be able to get on it by myself without any problems, I--"
"We're so sorry for any trouble we may have caused, but parental supervision is required for boarders younger than 14 years of age on boarding. Since you do not have a parent you are not liable to attend this flight."
"I have a caregiver," Tidus gasped-"Ri, Riku. He's over eighteen, aren't you Riku?" Play along, his eyes urged.
"Yeah," Riku agreed, lowering his voice. Knowing his luck it'd crack mid-sentence. "I uh, have my driver's licence on me if you want to see it." Well, he had a identification on someone who was actually him at home on his bed, so technically...
"That's not necessary ," She replied, like Riku knew she would. "as it seems Tidus will not be boarding this flight. I've called the co-pilot and he has informed the pilot of one less passenger and your flight has been rescheduled to 2am tomorrow, should an of age relative wish to accompany you."
"Call him back!" Tidus yelled, and throwing her against the wall and bringing up his fists . "Tell him that I'm getting on that plane now an only or else."
"Tidus!" Riku pulled him away from the woman and looked him hard in the eyes. "Remember what we promised Wakka."
"Screw that, what's the point of training if you can't use it when you need it?"
"But you didn't need to do that, Tidus. It wasn't in self defence and it wasn't justifiable."
"It was justifiable, in that if my ass isn't on that jet this minute then even self-defence wouldn't stop me from having it served on a platter later by Jecht."
"Boys!" The flight attendant interrupted, furious, then as security and orange-suit workers started coming back up the hallway from the plane, smiling-- "If you would move your conversation to outside this hallway, please?"
"Is there any trouble here?" One of the security guards asked her, and she smiled again, one of those polite smiles you can turn on and off.
"No. Mister Smith and his companion arrived at the wrong flight dock, and were about to board the wrong plane. But I think they know where should be now: they were just leaving."
"We were just--- how --what, Riku?"Said islander's face had been a nonchalant mask, hiding the passionate anger that only made itself reapparent once they'd booted themselves out of the airport.
"That fucking check in lady," Riku was then ranting, walking again along the roadside pavement "I just wanted to find where you got off, that's all, because I wanted to say goodbye to you before you left. But the chick at the dock knew my last name I made up when I was pretending to be you so the other chick must've called her through that other girl who was yelling on the phone, or just directly, and made assumptions that I was going to get a free plane ride or whatever and that you were in on it and they should stop us in case we tried and that you were in on it and they should stop us in case we tried anything onboard."
"I lost you at 'I'." Tidus admitted, biting his lip. His carryon bag was thrown over his shoulder and he looked sad, almost guilty for some reason. "But if you hadn't shown up then I would've been allowed to go on the trip, that's what you're saying right?"
"Essentially, yeah..." Riku realised. He wanted to rant some more, but after that statement, the only person he could really rant about was himself.
"I shouldn't have told you yesterday night that I was going, you wouldn't have wanted to say goodbye so suddenly." Tidus started, "I shouldn't have told Selphie I didn't want to go, because then she wouldn't have worried you about it, and you would've never doubly felt the need to come, and I shouldn't have gotten too close to Selphie, because then
"Hey, hey hey," Riku stopped him."You couldn't have predicted any of those things. If I were to give you my list of should haves and if onlys it would be miles long and you would be more than a little regretful for asking for it, but that's not I think people should focus on in life. Because even if we did that thing right then we would always be asking what happened if we did the wrong thing, and because even a wrong thing can turn out to have an upside. Like, your friendship with Selphie has gotten you away from Jecht, and has helped you understand that how he treats you isn't right and that's not the way you personally should treat others."
"That was'll good when I needed help understanding, but what's there to understand now?" Tidus said. He'd stopped walking, "We're stuck in the middle of nowhere and we can't go back to my house because my dad'll kill me and we can't go to your house because it's locked and empty and we can't go to the mini-island because it's too far away. If we walked we'd be spotted and driven back home and then in even more trouble, there's no upside. What are we supposed to do?"
Talk about pessimistic. Riku tried to think of something that would make Tidus think happily again. And then, with sudden epiphany, he paused at the bushes with the motorbike, and wheeled it back into plain view.
"Let's run away together."