This will probably mean more for those that fought through it, as there's a lot of stuff I'm echoing from the game, but I think it might work for anyone. And, maybe, it's kind of for those that will never play the game, so you know why I love these two guys so much. *laughter*
The usual fanfic disclaimer: I don't own Riku or Sora, Square Enix and Disney do.
Sora bit his lip, thinking.
He and Riku were on the Dark Shore alone together, perhaps forever. The waves lapped at their sneakers, the sand was soft and just a little cool underneath them. His terror for Riku on seeing him collapsed up on the beach was lessened by the talking with him now and getting a smile when he'd said that it was okay to be himself. He had something Riku could never imitate, too, he had Riku as his friend.
Sora put his head down and started, "You... you said that you envied me because I always followed my heart..."
Riku's eyes opened as Sora moved from where he'd sprawled on the sand. Sora only got up onto his knees, but moved so that he could face Riku. Riku's turquoise eyes narrowed, watching Sora just a little warily from behind the curtain of his white hair.
Sora sighed and said, "Well, here goes." There was gentle laughter in his voice, and Riku's eyes widened.
Sora's gauntleted hand moved to Riku's face. Very, very gently, Sora's bare fingertips brushed Riku's cool forehead, down the side of his face, brushing back the silk of Riku's hair. Riku's cool turquoise eyes, bereft of their usual cover looked up at Sora, searching his face. One silver eyebrow arched even higher as Sora quirked a smile at him.
Sora leaned forward and kissed Riku on his cool, dry lips. Sora felt Riku's indrawn breath, and then Riku leaned forward into the kiss, deepening it. Now it was Sora's turn to pull in a deep, shivering breath. They both trembled.
Riku broke off the kiss, his eyes bright, his color high. "Well," he said, and promptly fell bonelessly onto his back in the sand.
"Riku!!" Sora was up.
Riku waved him off, "It's... it's good, Sora, but I can't..."
Sora laughed, "Don't say that. Don't say another word."
"Yeah, yeah... not that way. I..." Sora was shocked as a tear came to Riku's eye. "I hate saying this, but I think I'm... my body's hurt bad."
"You don't say?" said Sora and then dropped the pretense as he dropped on one knee by Riku, "Just 'cause you took Xemnas' first ambush shot, parried a killing blow meant for me, and then took that huge blow to the back that flipped you back at me. You pushed me out of danger, and now.... now you can't even walk..." Now Sora found himself crying as well, remembering the terror in his heart as he took all of Riku's weight and dragged him out of there.
Riku looked up at him with wide eyes, the tear still hanging on his eyelashes.
Sora shook his head, angrily shaking his own tears off, "You're better than me at fighting, Riku, better than me at a lot of things. I don't deny it, but sometimes you're stupid, too. I didn't fight across a dozen worlds looking for you just to leave you hurt and alone at the end."
Sora reached over and started undoing zippers.
Riku batted at Sora's hands, weakly, "Hey..."
"I gotta see these to heal these." Sora pushed away Riku's hands firmly and Riku turned his head away, hair falling over his eyes again. Sora sometimes wondered if Riku just felt safer when he couldn't see... reminding him of when he went everywhere blindfolded.
"Oh God, Riku." whispered Sora, when he got the vest and shirt open and saw the huge, magic burned blow against Riku's chest and the edges of the back cut were turning black and green and blue even around Riku's sides. He saw Riku's muscles tense, flinch, and shiver back into release at his words.
Sora hastily took off his fingerless gauntlets.
First... the heart... and Sora spread his hands, as gently as he could, over the chest wound. Riku groaned and Sora almost lost his courage, but one turquoise eye glowed at him from the white of Riku's hair. Sora nodded and pushed his magic through his hands into healing his friend, into making him whole again. Leaves and flowers shimmered up and out of nothing, whirled about them glowing with life and power.
Sora shouted, "Riku!" And the spell dove into Riku's flesh. Riku's back arched, hands biting into the sand.
The magic bloomed over Riku's chest, and the light soaked in and left whole flesh behind. Riku collapsed again back into the soft sand and breathed, deeper now, and then a sigh of relief. He chuckled, and one of his long fingered hands crept into Sora's hand, holding it, warm and lightly.
"Do you remember?" asked Riku, his voice light in the darkness. "In the fight before the throne? When he was throwing lightening and spears and that horrible barrier against us? I remember seeing you get hit, bad, and I threw a potion at you to heal you back up. And, as I let it go, I heard you call my name too. And it was only when you healed me that I realized that I'd needed it, too." Riku's hand tightened just a bit on Sora's. "I'd... I'd been alone for so long..." his voice lowered to a whisper, "I'd forgotten how good it is to have someone to watch my back... and to be able to watch for theirs. To make a difference.,." He paused for a moment and Sora simply listened, knowing there was more. "Xemnas was going to kill you. You were just standing there... I couldn't... I just couldn't...."
Sora squeezed Riku's hand. "You followed your heart."
Riku let go of Sora's hand to brush back his hair to look up at Sora. "Yeah... I guess you're right." He quirked a grin. "I guess I'm learning to follow your lead."
Sora laughed. "Well, on that note... take off your shirt and vest and roll over. I gotta do your back, too."
Riku tried to sit up and when he faltered, he reached for Sora. Sora took his arm and helped him sit up. "Sorry." said Riku with a bitter note in his voice that made Sora nearly tear up again.
Sora just went "Hmph." in reply and got a soft chuckle from Riku. He gently helped Riku get his vest and shirt off and couldn't help gasping when he saw the extent of the damage back there.
Riku said, ironically, "That good, huh?"
Sora just shook his head and said, "Yeah. Right." He studied Riku for a moment, and then started piling up the sand, shaping it so that it wouldn't arch Riku's back if he lay on his stomach. Then he helped Riku lie, face down on the impromptu futon. He pushed the sand away from Riku's face, and felt Riku relax when Sora laid his hand on Riku's shoulder. "This is going to take a few tries."
Riku just grunted. Sora called on the last of his magical reserves, and rolled them into healing again. "Riku!" and again, leaves and flowers dove into the battered flesh. This time, it only lightened the bruising and under skin bleeding of Riku's back and waist, but Riku's body shifted, relaxed, and Sora heard his breath sigh out of him, "Oh..."
Sora felt depleted. Empty. But he could feel his own body pulling magic out of the darkness, automatically. It hadn't been that long ago when he could have only replenished from fighting Nobodies and Heartless. He was glad that he'd gotten good enough at it that he didn't have to fight anymore to drink the life of the universe into himself. Rather than just watch himself fill up again, he studied Riku's back. Then, tentatively, he started to rub Riku's shoulders and neck.
Riku bent his head a bit to give Sora more access, so Sora continued. He rubbed along the strong muscles, the smooth skin starting to fuzz with hair, feeling tendon and bone shift under his hands. Gradually he could feel what was tense and tight and what was not, and when he started to firmly rub against what he felt were tight spots, Riku groaned a little. Sora stopped, not wanting to hurt him.
Riku batted helplessly at the sand, "No... please keep going. That feels really, really good."
Sora kept going, and started really concentrating on what his hands were doing. It startled him when Riku suddenly asked. "Did you really fight across a dozen worlds looking for me?"
Sora paused. "Well, yeah. First thing I did when I got to each world was ask if they'd seen you."
Riku was silent for a moment. Then, "Tell me about the worlds."
Sora couldn't see Riku's eyes from where he was, but he took him at his word. Sora started talking from the beginning, about waking up with Goofy and Donald, about the three kids in Twilight Town, and he wended his way slowly through his adventures as his hands traced and kneaded Riku's muscles and back. It was good to go back through the wonder, the terror, the amazing people and their loves, and remember how cool it was to be able to help.
At the end of the story, Sora had enough magic to try again. Again, the first spell didn't completely knit Riku's flesh back together, so Sora emptied himself again. Frustrated by not being able to do what he really wanted to do, Sora threw everything he had into the last spell.
When Sora woke up, his head was pillowed on a warm leg, face towards a shirted and vested body. He breathed softly and recognized Riku's scent. Riku's arm was loosely wrapped about his head and back and the other arm lay lightly on his side. Sora indulged his desire to just be there forever.
Finally, he shifted to look up.
Riku looked down at him, through the tunnel of his hair. "You okay?"
Sora smiled up at Riku. Riku smiled back. Sora's heart leapt at that rare smile, holding it close.
"Yeah. I guess I needed a nap." Sora sat up, scratched his head and stretched, keeping his arms back above and behind his head. "You?"
"Never better." Riku laughed, and then tackled Sora back into the sand.
A short, happy wrestling while later, Riku settled his head in the hollow of Sora's shoulder as the two friends lay on the sand, watching the stars, listening to the waves. "You found me. Even when I looked like Xehanort, you knew me when you took my hand."
"Of course I did. You're you." Sora stopped, forcing the tears out of his voice and tried to say fiercely, "Nothing was going to keep me from you, not even you."
Sora felt Riku's head bow against his shoulder. Sora hugged Riku closer, putting his chin over Riku's wild hair. Riku whispered, "I'm glad you held on. Even... even if it was only to end up like this, in the darkness."
"With you I could gladly stay in the dark. We saved them. It'll be okay, now."
"You always say that."
"Well, I'm always right, aren't I?"
A nod against his throat. "Yeah... there is that..."
They ended up sitting on the shore again, side by side, just being together. And then the bottle bumped Riku's foot. The wild, glorious flight back to the Light was a joy; but Sora kept that small slice of darkness he'd shared with Riku on that far and distant shore always and forever close to his heart.