Riku, Sora, Kairi from left to right

Destined to Be: Kingdom Hearts Fanfiction

They had a rare free day, and Kairi suggested they take a break with it. Sora didn’t miss a beat and suggested San Fransokyo immediately. And who was Riku to argue? There were plenty of places Sora went that they hadn’t even heard of, never mind seen. He wanted a chance to see everywhere Sora had been and for Kairi to be at their side.

“Riku,” Sora broke through his thoughts, tugging on Riku’s sleeve and making the bags in his hand crinkle together. “Check it out!”

“What is it, Sora?” He didn’t explain, of course, just ran off into a massive toy store full of giant stuffed animals, blinking robots, and other things Riku didn’t recognize. He smiled, shaking his head, and waited behind. Kairi would be back any minute—someone should be here.

“He’s at it again?” Riku turned to Kairi’s smile, two bags in her hand from the shop behind her. Just putting together some outfits not made from fairies made her feel more at home, she said. Now that she’d thought of it, Riku was sure he’d do the same soon enough.

“Yep. You know him,” he answered warmly, nodding to the game store. Sora wouldn’t go far, he knew that without even looking yet.

And sure enough, Sora looked up from the toy train track just long enough to wave to Kairi with a big, boyish grin.

To both of them, actually. Sometimes it was so hard to believe they are all in the same space at last. Ready to face Xehanort together once and for all… But first, some time just… Together.

Kairi waved back, a broad wave with a bright smile in return. “I missed this.”

Years ago, back on the islands, he might’ve teased her. Expressing what he thought and felt seemed so impossible then. They’d all come so far since their childhood… “I know how you feel. It’s been way too long.” There was so much more to say, but none of it seemed to fit into words the way he wanted it to.

So he held out his hand, offering to take her bags too. Kairi just shook her head. “Oh, it’s alright! You don’t have to do everything yourself, you know.”

Teasingly, she nudged his shoulder and they both laughed—for a moment. Kairi trailed off into a sigh, turning to look out the large windows overseeing the city. Nothing like the islands he felt so trapped on, and so much more than he could ever have imagined. How weird was it that now, sometimes he wished he could go back?

“Being kids,” Kairi thought out loud, “We’re here doing what other people our age do all the time…” Finally turning to him again, her smile was steady.

But there was a trace of remorse in the ocean of her eyes. All those years, she waited without a complaint and only now did Riku realize she’d never talked to him about how that must’ve felt. “And together at last. Thank you, Riku.”

Caught off guard, his eyes widened. “Huh?” What did he do to earn that?

Kairi just giggled, leading him toward the toy store. “You helped him find his way back.”

Thinking back, she had a point… But they were the reason he had the strength to do that for Sora. Riku learned his lesson about being too prideful. “And you helped him see through to me when my face wasn’t my own.” He smiled her way, moving closer to keep together through the crowd. “We all fought for this, Kairi.”

Her smile softened, the sorrow vanishing from her gaze. Riku knew well that it just retreated to greater depths, still there and waiting for her to talk about it—when she was ready. He nodded to her. He would be patient, then.

“C’mon, you guys!” Sora rushed out of the store to meet them, practically bouncing with excitement. “You gotta see what they have!”

Riku had to chuckle at the sight. Sora really was incredible—he’d seen so many places, achieved so much, and that did nothing at all to his natural curiosity. To him, there really was beauty in everything. “Coming, Sora.”

Breaking out into a grin, Kairi matched his energy. “I haven’t gotten a toy in years! I wanna see all the best ones.”

Sora lit up, both of them feeding into each other. “You got it!” And he took her by the arm in a second, the two running ahead of Riku trailing with most of the bags.

“Right behind you!” He would catch up, that much was sure. In more ways than one. After all this time, Riku finally had the strength to protect what mattered.


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SoRiku: I Love You

Kingdom Hearts 3 Spoilers

Riku relaxed into the small sofa of his Traverse Town apartment with a content sigh. Yen Sid said he was always welcome at the Tower, but Riku felt better having a place of his own. Besides, when people came to Traverse, he could help them adjust to their new lives better if he lived there.

But today wasn’t about that.

He invited Sora over after their missions to just play games, watch movies, and be kids for a bit. They both grew up fast, but Sora didn’t have to. Riku made that necessary, and now he wanted to make it right.

His crush on Sora was part of that, selfish as that might be… But it wasn’t the right time to mention it to Sora. Not yet.

When his best friend first got there, dropping his sleepover bag next to the shoes he kicked off, he was all smiles and energy—typical Sora. Riku couldn’t help but smirk at the sight and tease him just a little. But now?

Riku turned to his sleeping friend resting on his shoulder, snuggled in close under his arm and muttering incoherently off and on. He never bothered to pause the movie, knowing the sudden silence could very well wake him up.

And how could Riku be anything but happy as long as Sora was there?

Sora deserved some rest after everything he carried on his own for all those years. He was under so much pressure—to be happy, to always be helping, to be exactly like he was as a kid but still a hero across the worlds. Ones he and Kairi hadn’t even seen, but Sora had saved.

Who else got the privilege of seeing him late in the day, napping away with the occasional murmurs of a dream about pirate life? Riku wanted to believe it was special to him. To them. That he could trust Riku now that things were different and like they were all at once.

Let everyone else see Sora as a dumb kid until they need something from him… As much as he resented that perspective of Sora, he couldn’t blame the others. They didn’t know him like Riku did. It was up to him to show them and Sora all he could be because it was who he already was.

Limbs in a tangle under the blanket that was once on the back of the couch, and the faint ghost of a smile on his boyish face… Riku caressed Sora’s cheek, lightly, as softly as he could to not wake him up and have to explain himself. “I love you, Sora. No matter what might change.”

For now, it was enough to just say it to him whether he could hear or not.

Guiding Light: SoRiku & TerraVen

sora riku soriku kingdom hearts

Returning to Ventus and Aqua was more than Terra ever hoped for. He truly thought he’d never be at their side again, never to train or sit beneath the same stars. But here he was after training with Aqua and Ventus, taking a seat outside the café in Twilight Town like any normal person would. They were there to get ready for the coming battle against Xehanort, but… Terra couldn’t resist a smile, however small.

“Terra,” Riku interrupted his thoughts. He had a hand of the back of the chair across from Terra and he gestured to it with his free hand. “Mind if I join you?”

“Of course not.” Seeing Riku grown up was… Time was hard to keep track of after all Terra went through. So he was careful to look at Riku as naturally as he could, not showing any disbelief he might be feeling.

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you, but it’s been—” Riku shook his head and Terra nodded. He knew all too well what Riku meant.

“Crazy, I know. It still doesn’t feel real some days.” He knew Aqua felt the same sometimes, but she worked through her troubles in her own way. And it didn’t work the same way for Terra. In the short silence afterwards, he had time to wonder why Riku wanted to talk— and he was sure it had to do with his own fall to Darkness. “I heard about what happened with you, Riku. I’m just glad you found your way back to the light. I took too long, but… I came back because of Ven.”

Riku breathed a laugh, a sure sign Terra hit the nail on the head. At least for one of the thoughts weighing on the younger Keybearer. “And Sora helped me.”

“The two of them are amazing, aren’t they?” He’d also heard of Sora protecting Ven’s heart while he slept and recovered, so he had to believe the bright-eyed friend of Riku’s was a lot like Ven. “Shining on everyone they meet like a million lanterns.”

“Or all the stars on a clear night,” Riku added, lost in his own thoughts for a second. A shadow crossed his eyes and his brow furrowed before he looked Terra in the eye. “When you were in the Darkness…”

“Every light I saw, I thought it was him.” In just a glance, Terra could tell Riku had the same experience when he was overcome by Darkness. They were alike in more ways than one, but to think he had to go through that alone across strange worlds, wishing he had the person he loved most at his side… It was all he could do to encourage Riku now. “Even when it wasn’t him, just the thought of him…” Terra trailed off, resting back against the chair. “I lost my body, my friends, and my home, but they couldn’t extinguish my heart.” He put his hand over his chest, continuing. “And it’s all because of Ven. I have him to thank for coming home.”

Riku smiled, propping his elbows up on the table between them. “We only met for a short time, Terra, but I knew we had a lot in common. I just didn’t know it was being lucky enough to have someone so bright to guide us home when we’d lost the way.”

“To have them love us.” Terra smiled at Riku’s surprise. He saw the moments Riku shared with Sora, and he recognized their bond as the one he shared with Ven. Even now, Terra was surprised himself that Ven asked him out. Maybe it was selfish, but he said yes because he couldn’t bring himself to say Ven could do better. “That’s another part that doesn’t feel real. But I’ll do my best to deserve it. To deserve him.”

Lea in KH3 Endgame

Day 4: Flame Liberator

KH3 SPOILERS BELOW

Created as part of the 8 Days of Axel Challenge
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8

The Keybearer Tower wasn’t the most welcoming place ever, but at least it had some color to it. And people who weren’t in various stages of trying to kill him. Lea sat in one of the usually empty rooms in the tower, getting some R&R, when a familiar face walked in.

“Well, well,” Lea greeted him, smirking, “If it isn’t Riku. Come to check on my progress to Keyblade Master?”

“Something like that,” Riku said through a laugh. Gotta say, it was good to see him happy for a change. They met at kind of rocky times in both of their lives… And they both had to learn to put the past behind them, he figured. “How are you doing?”

“Huh?” This wasn’t a casual ‘what’s up’, if Riku could even ask a question lightly. Lea shrugged. “I’m fine.”

“Lea,” Riku scolded him warmly, like a friend. Guess they were friends, huh. “Kairi told me you started crying out of nowhere.” Crap. Lea scratched the back of his head, self-conscious and caught red-handed. Didn’t even slow Riku down. “She says you want her to call you Axel.”

No way outta this, was there? Kairi meant well, just like Riku did… So this is what it’s like to have friends with hearts. Almost forgot. “Ah, right. You’re here about that.”

“So.” Riku crossed his arms with a friendly smile. “I’ll ask again. How are you doing?”

Lea looked at his hands, sighing. Couldn’t this just a regular social call instead of all this heavy talk? “You ever think about how Keyblades get their names?” Riku watched, patiently waiting for the rest of what he had to say. A kid this young had no business being so smart, really, but here they were. “Flame Liberator. Got one thing right, I have a lot of people to save. Most of ’em, I put in an icky situation personally.”

“That’s right, you did.” Lea snapped his head up, surprised. He didn’t have to say it like that, not with that calm smile still on his face. ” And you’re here now to help them out.”

Oh, so that’s where this was headed. Lea sighed, leaning back and propping his feet up on the chair across from him. Yen Sid wouldn’t like that, probably, but hey. What the old man didn’t know, right? “Yeah, we’ll see how well I hold up. Haven’t exactly been lucky with that, if you haven’t noticed.”

“Which brings me to my next point.” Riku sat down next to Lea, leaning forward to rest his elbows on the table. He looked like he was passing off somber news, the bad day-wrecking kind, and Lea wasn’t sure he wanted to hear it. “This isn’t just about saving them, Lea.”

Lea drew back, frowning at Riku. What did he take him for, anyway? “I know that! Look, if you think I’m gonna put myself first—”

“I know you won’t.” Riku spoke over him to be heard, not quite yelling, but it got Lea to shut up. For now. “That’s what worries me.” He rested back in the chair, crossing his arms again. With tells like that, he’d be terrible in a game against Luxord. “Mine was ‘Way to Dawn.’ I had to find my way back so I could help those I’d hurt.”

Lea was starting to figure out where he was going with this, but Riku was on a roll already. “Punishing yourself for the past isn’t the way to liberation, Lea. This is about penance.” Riku stood, resting his hand on Lea’s shoulder. A little awkwardly, had to admit, but hey— he still meant well. “Accept your mistakes. They brought you here, to a place where you have the strength to protect what matters.”

Lea’s heart sank. Strength to protect what matters? He wanted to think he had that now and Lea thought he’d been putting up a pretty good front so far. His gut twisted in a nasty little knot at how much he’d botched this already and everything on the line now. If he screwed this one up… He clenched his hands into fists to get himself out of his head. Nope, he didn’t need those upside-down tears anymore. No way. “It’s more than just that, I— I wasn’t just not there. I did a number on them, Riku. All of ‘em.”

“But you’re here to help now. You’ve learned from what you’ve done.” Riku took his hand away, stepping back. “If you don’t forgive yourself, Lea, they’ll never get the chance to.”

That… That made a lotta sense. Maybe there was something behind the names of the Keyblades after all. Lea smirked again, waving Riku off. “Alright, alright, I hear ya. I’ll free everyone, then.”

“Even yourself.” Riku tilted his head, a glint of a bad idea lighting up in his eyes. Didn’t take long to recognize that look and know they were all in for it when he saw it on Sora’s face at the same time. Riku breathed a laugh. “Got it memorized, Lea?”

“Hey, hey,” he sat up straight, jabbing at Riku playfully. “Get your own line!”