Um... plot bunnies strike again? This is a light Riku/Sora fic-this was spawned from the mental image of Sora practicing alone on the beach and it went a little ways from there. J I hope you enjoy...
It was weird to not be woken in the middle of the night with a Heartless attack-well, to actually be sleeping at all at night, because the Heartless preferred the dark. He hadn't used his Keyblades for at least a week and Sora found that he was missing the comfortable weight of them. He, who had never really been a fighter until a few years ago.
Moonlight streamed through his window and Sora stared outside, seeing the gleam of water in the distance and suddenly, he had an answer for his restlessness. Making sure that nobody in the house was awake enough to hear him, Sora dressed quickly and slipped out the door, heading to the island where he used to play as a child.
The sand slipped beneath the soles of his shoes as he pushed the small boat into the water. No one was around and the silent, moonlight beach reminded him eerily of the one he and Riku escaped to after beating Xemnas. The island was silent as well, devoid of the sounds of laughter that usually echoed across it.
Tying up the boat and moving to Tidus's old training area, Sora took a deep breath and reached for that spot deep inside himself, the one that allowed him to touch the power of the Keyblade. When he was fighting, it was easier and slid into instinct-when he was training, he had to search for a moment.
For a moment, Sora feared that he couldn't touch the Keyblade any longer, but as he closed his eyes, he could see Roxas holding out his hands, Keyblades clasped in each one. He offered them to Sora with a smirk. I can see you still need my help.
Sora didn't respond to .. well... himself, but took the offered Keyblades. Roxas fell back into the corners of his soul and Sora opened his eyes, Oblivion and Oathkeeper in his hands.
Of course...Roxas would hand me his own weapons...
Sora moved as if he were facing enemies, spinning and jumping-moving in the gliding movements that were hard-taught in battle. Calling on the magic that he had been gifted with - gliding slightly before falling to the ground again. Flying had been a childhood dream, but he never imagined it would actually be able to do it.
His soul calmed down as he continued the movements, each stroke blending into the next and he switched Keyblades in the middle of the practice, testing the weight and strength of each one. Sand and sea-salt covered practice dummies fell and cracked under the brunt of his weapons, falling to pieces after only a few moments.
Sora knew that he couldn't ever give this up, nor would he want to. It was as much a part of his soul as growing up in the Destiny Islands was. Sora was still Sora-no longer quite as innocent, but still the same inside. He still slept in until late morning or spazzed over the smallest things. He was still dense and had a horrible memory.
He finally whirled to a stop, his mind and heart calm once again. As his own breathing slowed and relaxed, he became aware of another person nearby. He crept quietly through the sand to investigate, but it a little while before he saw Riku there, panting as splinters of more practice dummies lay around him.
"Couldn't sleep?" Sora asked softly, grinning widely when Riku whirled around and stared at him. The Way to the Dawn was held limply in one hand and Riku brushed sweat-soaked bangs out of his eyes.
"Hn... you couldn't either, I see..." Riku nodded towards the Keyblades that Sora still gripped tightly. "It's hard giving it up... I had to do it, at least one more time."
"I understand." Sora sat gingerly on one box that looked semi-stable. He grinned up at Riku again, his blue eyes sparkling.
He knew that Riku would understand why Sora was out here. Riku walked the line of Dark and Light more precariously than most people, his Keyblade holding that power. Sora was of the Light, King Mickey of the Dark, and Riku in the middle.
Sometimes Sora saw Riku as the most human of them all, and he wondered about himself. Not deep thoughts or letting the darkness of the situation control him, but just...introspective. Analyzing.
"We're still the same...but different." Riku looked as if he wanted to sit next to him, but decided the weight of the two of them combined would be two much for the splintering box. "Practicing like this...knowing that this," Riku patted his Keyblade, "is a between...it helps. It shows that I'm no longer part of the Dark."
Sora bit his lip, trying to think of the right words to say. Riku would always carry that doubt-always that hint of self loathing because of what he did, what he sacrificed. "Your heart was stronger than the Dark," he said finally. "You hid in the Dark because the Light in your heart couldn't bear the thought of being consumed again."
Riku snorted and ruffled Sora's hair. "You're awfully serious. Is it the late hour or are you finally growing up?" His voice was teasing, but something in the tone showed his appreciation for Sora's constant reassurances. Sora, the one that should have never forgiven him, still treated him like the close friend they were as children.
"Idiot." Sora pouted up at him, giving the same childish glare that hadn't left him in all the years they spent fighting. "I was just telling the truth. I can be serious at times!" He huffed and crossed his arms over his chest, but he was smiling as well.
"Let's make this a new tradition." Riku said suddenly. "Just for us." He let Way of the Dawn melt away. "It'll be good for the both of us-keep our fighting skills up to date."
He didn't suggest they practice against each other; not with Keyblades, at least. Practicing with wooden swords, racing across the shifting planes of sand-that would be what the daylight would allow.
Sora let his own weapons fade away, eyes trained on Riku as he smiled. "I think it's a good idea," he said. Neither one of them was talking about the destruction of several good barrels, boxes and practice dummies. Just meeting with one another on the shores of a moonlight beach, hands reaching out to clasp the other and just feeling was enough.