Riku and Tidus gather their supplies and go.
“Why Riku,” A neighbour out presently watering her petunias commented, “you’re looking extraordinarily innocent today. Who’s the friend?”
“Tidus, ma’am,” The blonde offered, all smiles, and Riku smirked a knowing smirk. If only she knew.
“Well, have fun then.” She called, and Riku and Tidus rounded the corner of his gate (“ladies first,” Riku insisted, to a glare) and promptly knocked three times loudly on the front door then hid behind a large cactus.
Almost two minutes later, Riku’s dad answered the door, dressed in only sweatpants, rubbing his eyes looking up and down the street accusingly. Seeing no one, he muttered “stupid kids,” shut the door, and presumably went back to falling asleep in front of the T.V.
Which gave Riku and Tidus the perfect opportunity to get into the house without a key, and perfect noisiness to creep down the hallway floorboards as the volume got maxed up so best to ignore any future games of knock-and-run.
Repeating an urgent “Shit shit shit,” whilst chuckling in a manlyish way – it was not excited giggling, as Tidus would later exaggerate – the pair entered Riku’s room, and fell into gales laughing on the bed in relative unworry. (For the short period of time Riku played the guitar, he’d managed to soundproof the walls with box after box of egg cartons that he found in the shed that his mum was always telling his dad to throw out but for some reason, probably laziness, never did herself.)
“I can’t believe we got away with it.” Tidus was gasping, “He was looking right at me, I could feel it, and there was this cactus thorn ticking my nose and I swear if he’d stayed like one second longer, I would’ve sneezed or laughed or something, no thanks to you, why were you pulling that stupid face at him, it looked as if you were about to shoot somebody.”
“I know, right?”
Quickly the snickers died away and more serious matters came to be addressed, such as whether to bring Riku’s favourite leather yellow jacket or his more practical wooden scarf, what foods they could divulge from Tidus’s carryon bag now and what they would have to sneak from the kitchen now to give them an edge over the hunger later and which they would save for the trip.
“This is so confusing,” Tidus was complaining, falling back on Riku’s bed with an plop and a weary sigh. “Tell me again why we have to be all sneaky-sneaky inside your house.”
“Because my dad’s home,” Riku explained, “Because he’ll suspicious about me being home so early and because the school will’ve called him about my truanting today.”
“I get that, but why couldn’t I have just knocked on the door have gone in by myself? I
could’ve said I had homework to give you, or something.”
Riku flushed. “Ahh well, my parents have noticed that I tend to keep to myself sometimes...”
“Understatement.” Tidus snorted. “You’re a complete introvert, admit it.”
“Why Tidus, I’m surprised you know such a big word.”
“Hanging around you has to be good for something.”
“Yeah,” Riku cleared his throat. “Anyway, they noticed that Sora and all my friends from school and you are mainly guys, and I didn’t very much like any girls at school except from school except Kairi and of course, she’s like a sister to me I’ve known her so long I don’t like her in that way. So somehow my dad assumed from that that I’m gay, and of course I wouldn’t care about that at all since I’m not gay but if you came over my house he’d make even more assumptions, I know, and I wouldn’t want to expose you to that kind of wrath.”
“Aww,” Tidus mocked, pulling him into a headlock. “How sweet, you were worried about me, lil’ Rik Riks?”
Riku shoved him away. “No,” he denied, “I was worried about my dad, and what you’d do to him.”
Tidus was having none of that. “But it’s so cute! You going gay for me, trying to trick your daddykins, Riku, I would’ve never thought you the type.”
“Stop it,” Riku’s face was aflame. “Remember, we need to figure out where to put all this food we’re collecting, before we put it in our stomachs.”
“Maybe in the side compartments?” Tidus offered, and let it drop.
Once they’d eaten an irrelevant amount of unhealthy snacks and escaped from Riku’s house to where the motorbike was hidden in the park that was the shortcut someplace down the street, they set off again, this time with a backpack each, altogether containing two wallets, two sleeping bags, two bottles of water, twenty packets of potato chips, their toothbrushes, a torch and a spare pair of clothes. They set off to the large ship wharf on the south-easterly side of the island, one of many, planning to stowaway on one of the more vacant ones with Fenrir
Tidus’s opinion on it was merely: “I still think we should hijack a cruise liner.”
A few minutes later;
“Is the coast clear yet?” Tidus held the motorbike straight on the sand under the wharf, while
Riku stood on the seat, peering up through the cracks in the floorboards.
“Looks like it, though I can’t tell for sure.” Riku jumped down. “Let’s bring Fenrir up now, and we can—“
“Who’s Fenrir?” Tidus interrupted.
Riku gave him an odd look. “You know, Fenrir.” A look that clearly said ‘no I don’t know.’ “The motorbike.”
“Oh.” Tidus said. “I didn’t know she had a name. Nice one, too. Latin, right? Did you give it to her yourself?”
“No, it was already there when I got it...” He vaguely recalled running his fingers over its engraved script on the motorcycle’s engine when he first inspected it, but as he looked now? Nothing. Weird. “Let’s go up. We’ve wasted enough time.”
So they quickly wheeled Cloud’s motorcycle up onto the dock and unto the ship, finding a disused side compartment full of boxes down the starboard side and promptly getting in and locking it. Riku was just starting to remark upon how everything was going unusually according to plan when he rounded the room corner to find an on patrol guard slacking off asleep five inches from his face, whisky in hand.
“Hey Riku, why’d everything just go all—oh.”
“Yeah, that’s oh alright,” Riku whispered, “But we should be just fine so long as we back off slowly and don’t. Make. A. Sound.”
They walked back with their breaths caught and their elbows not knocking the fine china – this was one of the ship’s cabin’s kitchens, Riku later discovered – and only as Riku was about to let out a sigh for breath and grab Fenrir to move out, his phone rang.
Unfortunately for Riku, his ringtone was an eir-peircingly noisy techno ditty and they were in a small room, his pants were thin and didn’t completely muffle vibrations that sent his entire leg shaking and woke up the guard.
“What—where? Kids? What the hell are you doing in my—“
“We’re sorry we’re sorry, my father was-“
But unfortunately Riku never discovered what Tidus’s father was and what the hell they were doing in where, because before he could learn his fist had shot back and slammed into the guard’s temple, triggering a great crack that echoed throughout the cabin louder than even his cellphone’s ringing.
Tidus was shocked into a silence that he soon overcome, the chatterbox.
“My god Riku, the fuck? Why did you-- What was that meant to be about? That crack didn’t sound healthy, knocking out an innocent with a punch like that? And, and coming from you, you who could argue your way out of a brick wall? The hell was that for, man?-”
Riku didn’t reply. No one could ever accuse him of panicking in a tight situation but his eyes still hadn’t moved from the space in air where the guard’s head had previously sat.
“Are you even listening?” Riku only barely perceived Tidus throwing him against the kitchen wall in an echo of his own movements at the airport, his gaze unfocused and mind trudging with sudden weight of thought. “Do you have no eyes? The guy’s fat, and old and—“
Riku didn’t make habit of overestimating people: he’d been lucky, with that punch. The guard was large and likely trained in self-defence, they had speed on their hands but if he hadn’t managed to catch him off gaurd, if he’d aimed just one centimetre lower...
Tidus shook his shoulders, harshly. “Listen to me, Riku! That was hardly necessary and so not administered in self defence or punishment. You broke our group’s promise just then seemingly for no good reason and I want you to tell me why.”
Something darkish inside of Riku wanted him to laugh at that demand and a brief chuckle did escape his lips, as he easily exchanged the balance of weight to have the younger boy pinned against the opposite wall by his throat, feet dangling in the air.
Tidus gasped. “Let go, Riku you’re hurting me—“
“First,” he breathed, taking his time, enjoying it. “You can want a lot of things from me now we’re going and I’m at perfect ease to not give them to you, because from now on we’re not on the islands anymore and the old rules don’t apply. There’s only one rule between you and me and fuck shit it’s not the one that you proposed after I showed you Fenrir.”
He tightened his grip.
“Second, I hit him because I was worried about him hitting me, not about some dumb pinky promise we all made half a year ago to appease Sora. Maybe I could’ve thought’ve some unlikely excuse and maybe I could’ve waited for him to go on the physical offensive first before hitting him but I didn’t, maybe because I’m not the fucking thinking things through judge in times of crisis that you think I am. All I knew then was that something big was in my face and threatening my goal and getting to it, and I dealt with it in the most efficient matter of the time. You should count yourself lucky I don’t do the same with you.”
“Please stop, please Riku, you’re scaring me...“
Riku let go.
As he was coming to often feel as if, Riku felt like he should be staring at his hands in shock right then, but he really wasn’t all that surprised, guilty that he wasn’t and actually all thinking about what they were going to do with the body and the missing moment when his mobile had stopped ringing and voicemail had started and he was scrambling over to hear it.
”Riku,” Kairi’s voice was saying through its speakers, all chirpy, unknowns of the dark atmosphere weighingthe recipient down. “I just called to tell you that Tidus wasn’t at his house, and we ran into a few complications getting out of it. Where are you? How did the conversation with Mrs. Strife go? Any news on Sora? Kairi.”
A beep signalled the end of the message.
A horn signalled the start of the ship’s departure.
“Hypocrite,” Tidus hissed at him from the other side of the cabin.
Riku groaned and threw the cell phone somewhere else, making himself comfortable on the scratchy blue carpet, holding his head in his hands.
They‘d be in for one hell of a long ride.