Incredibly mild spoilers for the start of Drop Drop Distance, like I played a whole 25 minutes ten years ago so I know the setting. Somehow I still have a KH icon.
"I know all about it," Sora says authoritatively, pointing at nothing in the air. He's either doing an impression of Yen Sid, or their borish middle school English teacher. Riku suppresses a snort by sticking another forkful of waffles in his mouth.
They're really good; Kairi's pretty much perfected the recipe she got from Queen Minnie since they all keep asking her to make them over and over. They're still not quite as good as when the King makes them, Riku thinks, but it wouldn't surprise him if Mickey had a secret ingredient hidden under that round-eared hood.
"You're really getting good at these," Riku turns to Kairi to say.
She grins, pleased, even as she scolds, "Don't talk with your mouth full. And I ought to be, at the rate you two eat them."
"Hey, don't ignore me!" Sora protests, slapping his palm down on the table. "I'm telling you! Goofy is definitely more like a mouse than a dog, because if he's a dog, then what the heck is Pluto?"
"Any plans for our day off?" Kairi asks Riku, both of them pointedly ignoring Sora and his whine for attention.
"Nothing really," Riku answers, shrugging. Yen Sid will be away tomorrow, doing something unspecified that he made seem ominous and mysterious, but for all Riku knows is something as mundane as a trip to the pointy wizard hat store. "You?"
"Shopping with Olette!" Kairi almost sparkles with excitement. "I haven't had a girls' day in ages! I'm always stuck with you two slobs."
"Hey," Riku tries to protest, but then both of them look at Sora, jamming waffles into his mouth like it's a contest, syrup smeared across his cheek. There's so much strawberry jam drowning his Mickey waffles that it looks like a murder scene. "Never mind, that's fair."
"I'm gonna SLEEP," Sora informs them, muffled through his full mouth. "FOREVER."
"Aurora called, she wants her job back," Kairi says, and this time Riku doesn't bother to hide his snort.
Riku and Sora stay up too late despite their long day of training, because that's exactly what having the next day off is for, tangled up tightly in Sora's bed that they magicked bigger so Sora would stop rolling off the side. It had taken them three tries to get it right, or close enough that only one of the legs has a book wedged under it, and they still might need to try again if Riku doesn't stop getting taller. It's warm under Sora's blankets, the room lit dimly blue by a string of clunky lights that Sora liberated from Christmas Town, and there's always a soft breeze through the window because of the height of the tower, even if Riku misses the smell of salt in the air. They alternate between heated kisses and talking; they're still filling in the gaps between them about which worlds they've both been to, and which they still want show each other.
Riku falls asleep first, eventually, lulled by Sora's voice, the heat that always seems to pour off his skin sinking into Riku's sore muscles. It's heavy and dreamless as he sleeps off the worst of his exhaustion, and when he wakes up in the morning he can barely make sense of where he is for long minutes on end. He's still tired, but he's too unused to sleeping for long stretches, so Riku untangles himself from Sora's tight grip and crawls out of bed, wincing when stretching makes his back pop.
Sora doesn't budge, of course, snoring audibly even with his face smashed into his pillow, hair sticking out every which way. Riku's heart aches with how stupidly cute that is, sort of the same way his shins ache from growing. He scrubs at his face and goes to shower, hoping hot water and maybe some more Mickey waffles can solve at least one or two of his problems.
There's no day or night at Yen Sid's tower, only the orange and purple twilight that pulses gently, endlessly, outside of the windows. Riku fills up a few more hours of time with kata practice on the lawn and then catching up with his assigned reading in the library. The library is peaceful, dust motes drifting in the golden light that pours through the windows, warm against the back of Riku's neck where he's twisted his hair up in a knot to keep it from falling in his face. He makes it a third of they way into the report about the theory behind activating Drive Gauge before he gives it up and heads back up to Sora's room. If Sora isn't going to interrupt him like usual, then Riku will just have to make his own interruption.
Sora is exactly where Riku left him, in the dead center of his bed, the only difference that instead of being curled on his side, now Sora is sprawled out like a paopu, arms an legs flung out in all directions. Riku shakes him, gently at first, then harder, until Sora groans and cracks an eyelid.
"Get up, slacker," Riku orders.
"It's still dawn," Sora protests. He tries to roll away, but Riku catches his shoulder and shoves him back down on his back again.
"You've been asleep for hours and hours, you bum, and you know damn well it's always dawn here." Riku dodges easily when Sora grabs at him, trying to drag him back into bed. "Get up. Let's go into town."
"Fiiiiiiiine," Sora drawls, sitting up. He yawns big enough to scrunch his eyes shut. "Why town?"
Riku gives a yank to drag Sora to his feet, stumbling into Riku's chest. Avoiding Sora's morning breath, Riku kisses Sora's forehead instead, reaching up to bury fingers in the soft, warm mess of his hair. "I just want a change of scenery, I guess."
"Hmm." Sora looks up at Riku from under heavy eyelids. He reaches up to sink fingers into Riku's messy bun, pulling it free of the hair elastic. "Look ridiculous with that. You need a haircut."
"I need a haircut?" Riku demands, working his fingertips down deeper into Sora's hair until he's squirming from the tickle of it.
On the train back into Twilight Town, Sora is still mostly asleep, slumping against Riku's side, cheek against Riku's shoulder, the weight of him pleasant like the rhythmic clacking of the train. When they get into Central Station, Riku is mildly surprised that Sora tugs him onto the town line instead of outside, but lets him have his way. Sora knows Twilight Town much better, or maybe it's Roxas who does, and Sora still shows Riku unexpected corners and tunnels now and again.
There are others on this train, impossible to tell whether they're heading into work or going home at the end of the day. Sora's stomach growls louder than the rumble of the train, making the lady across the eye raise her eyebrow and Riku laugh.
"Come on," he says when they pulling into Sunset Terrace. He stands and holds out a hand to pull Sora up. "Let's get you a pretzel before you die of starvation."
They scrounge up enough munny from Sora's endless pockets for two pretzels. They're both quiet, mouths full, as Sora leads them along a winding path up a steep hill. Riku's only halfway done with his pretzel by the time Sora's already licking the salt off his fingers; Riku hands over the rest of his just to see Sora's eyes light up, flashing deep blue like when the sun hits the ocean just right, back home.
"It's beautiful up here," Riku says when they reach the top. It's an overlook point, nothing up here besides some benches, a statue that looks like the clocktower of Central Station, and the view. The view is really all you need, though, sweeping over the rest of the neighborhood, everything washed gold from the setting sun.
"It's called Sunset Hill." Sora ignores the benches and drags Riku to sit in the grass, feet dangling over the edge. He sits close enough that their shoulders brush, but not as close as he did on the train when they were alone. They're still working it out, what's all right when it isn't just them, and when it is. "He used to come here, to think, I guess. I dream about it sometimes."
"Your other half thinking? Nah." Riku wraps an arm around Sora's waist, sliding over until they're as close together as they had been earlier. He doesn't care if anyone from Twilight Town does see them, surely they see weirder stuff here. Sora is tense against him for a second, then relaxes, his cheek coming to rest in its normal spot against Riku's shoulder. "No way."
"Shut up, jerk," Sora retorts. For a few breaths they're quiet, the breeze ruffling their hair. "Hey. Betcha don't know why the sun sets red."
"What?" Riku laughs. "No, since the last science class I took was two years ago, I don't know."
"It's because…" Sora trails off, then chuckles. "Never mind. I don't know why I asked you that."
"Weirdo." Riku rubs his cheek against the top of Sora's head, his hair tickling the line of Riku's jaw.
Sora pinches Riku's thigh and then leaves his hand lying there, warmth from his palm seeping through Riku's pants. "That's Keyblade Master Weirdo, thanks."
"Not quite yet, Master Weirdo," Riku replies, grinning at Sora's aggravated noise. "We've still got a long way to go."
"You're such a killjoy," Sora accuses, voice laced with affection. "Nothing travels faster than light, you know? Hey, let's get ice cream on the way back. They make that weird salt flavor here that everybody loves. I don't get why."
"In a minute." Riku's eyes drift shut, the backs of his eyelids glowing red. "There's no rush." He wouldn't mind seeing the actual twilight this town is named for. They haven't stargazed in so long, and even though the stars will all be in different places here, Riku guesses they'll all still be up there somewhere.
Besides, one of them already did his homework.
more notes: Mickey waffles in Disney World are seriously made with some kind of drug that makes them amazingly addictive. They'll tell you the "recipe" but there's definitely something they're leaving out.
when my dad was married to his first wife they had an argument about whether goofy was a dog or a mouse and wrote to Disney. They wrote back and said he was a dog, so my dad won the fight and got their first color TV (his wife wanted the couch first). DAd's excuse was you could sit on the floor and watch the TV but sitting on the couch to watch nothing was way stupider.
Next up is beltenebra.