He had to come in here sooner or later. And... they just had to talk.
Sitting on a roof all day only had so much appeal.
Riku let himself in through the window, pausing as he perched on the sill, a look of surprise crossing as his face as he caught Kairi's scent in the room.
Kairi looked up, trying to keep from choking up already. Stupid emotions.
"Um, hi." She didn't even ask how he 'saw' her.
Riku put his feet on the ground, leaning against the window frame.
He didn't have a clue what to say.
"... um, something wrong?"
"Just... wanted to apologize."
Kairi stared at her hands again. "For kissing you that night. You're back now. I don't... I don't like things being all weird just because I lost my head."
"... You don't have to." He moved away from the window to join her on the bed. "Honest."
She sniffled, trying to fight the tears.
"I know I haven't grown up as much as you guys have, and I'm probably... " a bother.
He bit his lip at the sound, one gloved hand reaching out to hold hers.
"... you're being silly."
"... I know."
Deep down, she did. But she was so afraid.
"... so what are you worried about? I'm not going to leave you behind," not again, "and neither is Sora."
"... I think you already have."
Riku exhaled slowly, still not letting go of her hand. When he had been wandering, he'd done a lot of imagining of what being with his friends again would be like.
He hadn't counted on this.
Kairi tried not to tear up, but it was impossible, a few wet spots splotching on her skirt.
"... you guys have seen so much. You're everyone's heroes. I'm..."
A small, bitter laugh escaped his throat, and his grip loosened some.
"I'm no one's hero."
Kairi used her free hand to wipe away her tears.
"... you've always been mine."
He frowned, face turning in her direction.
"Even after all these years?"
Kairi turned to him, wishing she could see his eyes so much.
"Especially after all these years."
Riku bit his lip again, slowly letting go of her hand to hug her tight.
Kairi just leaned in close, trying not to cry more.
"I mean it, Riku."
"... I know."
Kairi pulled away. She knew she had to.
Things were so mixed up.
Riku let her go, flopping back on the bed to face the ceiling, hands clasped over his stomach.
"So..." He didn't want her to leave, but he didn't know what to stay to make her stay.
Kairi stood up, brushing away her tears. Kinda.
"... I should let you sleep, huh?" She made the mental note to figure out how to get a place of her own.
He sat up again, shaking his head. "... I'm wide awake."
But if she really wanted to leave...
... he was making this so hard.
"Why do you wear that thing?" She blurted it out before she even thought about it.
Or she could ask that.
"... I told you I wanted to be stronger."
Kairi knelt down next to him on the bed, looking at it.
"I guess... I don't understand how it makes you stronger."
He chewed on his lip, deep in thought as he tried to put the words together.
He had to tell her.
"While I've been gone, I... I've been learning how to sense the darkness. I can smell it, sometimes taste it, and I figured... if I learn how to able to live day to day with just going on that, without needing to see, then that will make me stronger when I fight against the darkness."
Kairi frowned, but just a little.
"... you can... tell? I mean, I figured you had to have something, because you're not bumping into walls, but you can tell if there's darkness around?"
"Pretty much." Although he'd done plenty of bumping into things the first week after wearing the thing. He was lucky he hadn't broken his nose on more than one occasion.
Kairi leaned in closer. She wanted to see his eyes so badly.
"So you can tell if the Heartless are around, or if it's someone who's good?"
"Yeah. Everyone's got a different smell, so..." He shrugged.
"... what do I smell like?"
Stupidest question ever.
"... like the paopu fruits, and..." Riku paused, shaking his head. "That's it, really."
He didn't want to say the other one that came to mind.
Kairi ducked her head. "... that's a good smell at least, right? No darkness?"
That worried her.
Kairi tried to be relieved.
But that was such a non-answer.
He knew that was a terrible answer, but there were some things he just didn't know how to say.
Riku moved to stand. "... think I'm gonna go take a walk."
Kairi didn't speak.
She'd wait for him to go, then slip out herself. She'd find somewhere to live.
He started for the door, then stopped, turning back to her.
"... Later, or tomorrow, or something, you and I, and Sora... We should do something together."
Kairi nodded, then remembered and swallowed.
"... yeah. Sure thing."
His face turned to the window at the sudden smell that came to him.
Kairi nodded, looking back at her hands.
She didn't say yes.
He moved away from the door and back to the window, deciding it'd be faster to find where the smell was coming from by rooftop.
Kairi looked up, realising something changed.
He climbed onto the sill. "Heartless."
"Ok. Just... be careful."
That'd make it easier for her to leave.
With a nod, he left.