Remniscing: ultra emo-ness in which kid!Riku has serious problems.
He would just get so upset. Needlessly, and he’d ask himself, Why? What’s wrong with you- you have everything, a good school, a good family, a good set of friends. You shouldn’t be sad. There’s no reason to be. It’s not important; it’s definitely not the big deal you’re blowing it up into being. Why couldn’t he just be happy like everyone else anymore?
Sometimes it would be aloud and it’d be a scream into the rooftops and beyond that, the skies, or a whisper that was so faint that it couldn’t be heard through the sound of his raking sobs unless you were listening for it. He’d run to the park near his house and he’d sit on his favorite swing and kick at the unraked autumn leaves piled at his feet and cry until his eyes were puffy and he couldn’t cry anymore. Eventually Sora would turn up, asking Riku why he wasn’t at their island that day, Riku would run away from him too, because he couldn’t let Sora see his tears. Boys didn’t cry, it wasn’t normal.
Normal was happy, nothing about Riku was ever normal.
Riku felt normal when he was with Sora; he felt awkward when he was with Kairi, adventurous when it was with Selphie and plain angry with Roxas. He usually felt sad when he was by himself, but if there were other people around he could usually take out some of that sadness about not being able to be happy on them. There were his lies that fed into this blame game of hatred onto society and its own, and if he mustered enough of them at once then maybe he could convince himself for a moment that it wasn’t him but the rest of the world, he was the only one normal in the world and everyone else were abnormal freak who constantly asked themselves what normal was and why it mattered—
When they were sitting on the papau tree together gazing at the sunset and others would come and go but they’d always be there for each other when it mattered the most and the least and all the other times that Sora was sad occasionally after fighting and Riku would stare into the water and apologize with his actions and not his words and when it wasn’t fighting with sticks but with those words then Riku would remember that most people cried not when they were like him upset, but angry, so he’d never be able to comfort Sora without being rejected so there was no reason to try in the first place and as he watched the younger boy stomping away from the water to the paddleboats, just wanting to get away, Riku filed the memory of his reasoning in a box in his head to be remembered and the way the sunset looked pretty in another marked spam.
He was a coward. If only one day he’d be brave enough to chase after Sora instead of just sitting there alone on a tree, lying to himself.
Sora always chased after him, at the park.
The thought made a nine year old Riku sad for awhile.
It was a few months into his sad attacks that his insomnia started. He didn’t notice it at first. It wasn’t a sudden, heavy feeling like with the sadness, but more gradual, a kind of hmm, I can’t sleep now so why don’t I just stay up for half an hour more type of decision, so soon he was pulling all regular nighters and figuring out how to do this thing with his head that he could do when he was tired enough, keeping his eyes half lidded and his body in autopilot, but his mind in an almost low-power mode. He didn’t think it was healthy but when he slept for real his bad dreams came back, this one in particular where he was blind and he kept reaching out for a hand to hold but it was a dream, these scientists that surrounded him, shining their torches in his empty eye sockets, suddenly transformed into great big monsters with bulbous yellow eyes that glinted back at his knowingly and from them he somehow suddenly realized that he could see after all. So, relieved, he lifted his hands to undo the bandana covering his eyes and when it fell back there was a mirror in front of him that he was staring into and he could see his face slowly morph from relief to shock horror, because his face in the mirror had those very yellow eyes.
It was in the silent mornings stemming from those with that nightmare that Riku became obsessed with the darkness that was his greatest friend and protector but also his greatest foe.