[#038: Restraint] Sora arrives in Traverse Town.
Sora wonders if he looks like them. He doesn't like dwelling on that thought for long.
He is talking to one of the moogles when the door to the store opens. (Seriously. /Moogles/. No one at home is going to believe him when he tells them about the moogles.) He glances up as the chimes tinkle as someone walks out, and it registers to him that the person looks familiar. He starts running after the boy even before he realises what he's doing.
"Hey Tidus! /Tidus/!" he yells, and the moogle he was talking to gives a startled "Kupo!" before heading away in the other direction in a huff. Tidus is preoccupied with his postcard, thoughtfully biting the end of his pen before he scribbles on the card, and Sora comes to a skidding halt behind him. He feels like hugging his friend, never mind that Tidus will probably shrug him off, but he manages to control himself and simply reaches to grab Tidus's shoulder instead. "Man, I'm glad you're o--"
The boy turns, a puzzled look in his blue eyes. "Sorry?" he asks, and Sora struggles to find his voice; his throat feels too dry and too tight, and he swallows before he manages a weak smile.
"No," Sora says, "I'm sorry. Thought you were someone else." The boy was too young to be Tidus, a bit too calm, too still. He had been too excited to notice anything else other than the fleeting resemblance. His heart is still beating too quickly, and he takes a breath to slow it down. He tries to smile again, and this time it feels more genuine. He sticks out his hand, and the boy grins at him before wiping his own palm on his shorts and shaking Sora's hand with an exaggerated vigour.
Sora laughs. The boy could have been Tidus. But he's not, and maybe the real Tidus is laughing in the sun as he plays ball with Wakka. He'll get back to the island, somehow. He has to.
The boy who is not Tidus looks a bit lost. Maybe he's looking for someone too. Or perhaps he's searching for a way home. Perhaps he's lonely, alone in a new place, without his friends with him.
"I'm Sora," Sora offers. "What's your name?"