Riku didn't move from his spot on the bench.
He knew he needed to find Kairi, and that he needed to start looking. Now being the idea.
He just didnt know where to start. He couldn't see anything to save his life, and he wasn't too sure if the smell he'd caught of her from the journal entries was what he was supposed to go on. It was just... off, for someone like her.
After another minute of mentally kicking himself for being a complete asshole the past week, he stood up and started walking.
It couldn't hurt to try.
Kairi was sitting on a bench, crying.
Riku didn't want to be her friend. Sora was distant.
She had nowhere to live.
He didn't have very far to go, it seemed. The sudden overdrive of smell was driving him crazy.
That had to be her.
Slowly, he made his way over where she at.
"... Hey, Kairi."
Kairi looked up, her eyes red.
Not that he could see them.
"... if you're just going to be mean to me, go away." If he was going to yell at her, she didn't want to hear it.
No, but he knew she was crying.
And the itching feeling that he was partly the cause of the tears made him cringe.
"... you wanted to see me?"
She curled up, away from him. He was so cold right now. "... you didn't want to see me."
With a sigh he sat down beside her on the bench.
"... I was kinda avoiding everyone. It wasn't you." He bit his lip. "I'm sorry."
Kairi turned her head, looking at him.
"... why are you blindfolded?"
"... I want to be stronger. If I don't need to use my eyes to fight... then I will be."
So easy to say, when it all boiled down to it, yet she was the only one he had said this out loud to.
"I... ok." She stood up, wiping her eyes. "I'm glad you weren't mad at me. I guess." He still felt so disconnected.
Riku picked his head up, eyes following her even though he couldn't see past the cloth.
It was a weird habit.
"... Never was." He smiled a little. "I missed you, Kairi."
"... you have a weird way of showing it." Crap. She started crying again, sniffling a little.
"I missed you so much."
Riku reached out to hug her tight.
Kairi buried her face in his neck, trying to keep from sobbing.
"... I thought you guys were dead."
He held her close, one hand absently rubbing her back.
"We're okay. Sora was off being the hero, and I was figuring things out where I was. But we're here now and together again."
"Yeah, and while you guys were off, you know what I did?" She looked up at him, putting a hand on his face just trying to get some kind of contact.
"I waited. I waited and waited and prayed you guys would come back. And you never did, Riku." She wanted to hit him.
He bit his lip again at the touch.
"... I told Sora to go home with you." To take care of her. But did he listen? No. Course not. He never did, the idiot. "I wanted to go home, Kairi. I've missed the islands."
"... the islands weren't that much without you. Guys. Without you guys."
Kairi bit her lip too.
"... I'm still sorry."
Riku got the feeling he'd be repeating that a lot. He was. And hell, Kairi and Sora were the only ones that would ever get to hear that from him.
They deserved it most.
"... don't." She shook her head, looking down at her feet.
"Don't be sorry. You had to do what you had to do."
... and of course, they were the only ones who didn't want an apology.
He could deal with that.
"... All right."
He hadn't pulled away, and Kairi didn't want to yet either.
"... I'm really glad you're safe. You didn't get really hurt or anything, did you?" She resisted the urge to move the blindfold away.
He'd let her go when she wanted him to.
"I'm fine, honest."
Kairi rested her head on his chest.
"... you grew up."
He leaned back against the bench, arms kept loosely around her.
"... Yep." He knew she she had. He could tell her hair was longer. She was taller. He just couldn't know for sure how different she was like this.
Kairi closed her eyes, relaxing for the moment.
"... did you find somewhere to stay yet?"
"... I suppose the roofs don't count?"
He'd been too cheap to shell out munny for the hotel.
"It's better than the alleys." That's where she'd been staying. She couldn't fight, so she had no munny.
Riku hoped very much he wasn't going to get smacked for this suggestion, but it was all that was coming to mind. He didn't want to leech off of Sora.
"Wanna try and find a place together? Might be cheaper that way and stuff..."
"... really?" Kairi felt her heart do a strange sort of flipflop.
"That would be... I can't fight though. I can't really get munny."
Riku gave her a small grin. "Maybe a job? There's got to be someplace here that's offering them."
It took a lot of heartless to get a lot of munny, anyway.
Kairi looked up at him.
"... can I see you? Just once, and you can put it back on?"
He stiffened slightly.
"... I'd rather it didn't come off."
He was still jumpy from when Zexion had yanked it off.
Kairi pulled away.
"... M'sorry." She stood up. "Maybe... I'm doing ok. I'll find a job
and a place."
... Damn it. Riku reached out to take to take her hand.
"No, don't." He stood up with her. "I just... I can't take it off yet, but when it does... you'll be one of the first to see."
Kairi wanted to pull away again, but instead she leaned up, kissing him gently.
Wait. That was supposed to be the cheek. Why hadn't it landed on the cheek?
If that damn cloth hadn't been in the way, he'd have blinked.
Or maybe not. He seemed to be doing a very good job right now of imitating a statue.
After a long moment, he quickly returned the kiss before pulling away. "... Kairi?"
He returned it.
But then he pulled away. Kairi didn't get it.
He didn't either.
"... I..." Shit. Um. "... let's go look for a place to stay."
Maybe they could figure things out more there.
"... I..." She felt like flailing. With the arms and attempting to fly and stuff.
"Riku, that's probably not a good idea."
Too bad Riku wasn't a flailing type of person.
"... I'm kinda at a loss then, here."
"... I know. I'm sorry."
Kairi stood up, and started walking away.
Riku bit down hard on his lip, slumping down on the bench.
... God damn it.