Power in Solidarity @celestialseraphim
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Riku leaned against the trunk of one of biggest trees in the park, enjoying the relief the shade brought. It was a beautiful day, but he’d rather not stand under the blistering afternoon sun for too long. He hadn’t even come prepared with sunscreen or anything. He had no doubt that his nose was already colored pink. Sora had practically begged him to come to this world with him.

   “Riku, they have superheroes! With actual powers! You have to see it. There’s this awesome superhero family. I fought this giant Heartless with them. I know you’d love it.”

Riku had played his usual cool guy act, rolling his eyes at Sora’s enthusiasm, but inside, his heart practically soared at that bright smile of his. He found that Sora’s eyes always had a sparkle to them when he was telling him all about his adventures. After his exam and becoming a keyblade master, it was difficult to find the time to hang out with Sora like they used to. He remembered those times when he joined Sora to different worlds, and maybe..maybe it was time for that again. After all, he had made a promise to himself that he’d protect Sora.

Riku had played his usual cool guy act, rolling his eyes at Sora’s enthusiasm, but inside, his heart practically soared at that bright smile of his. He found that Sora’s eyes always had a sparkle to them when he was telling him all about his adventures. After his exam and becoming a keyblade master, it was difficult to find the time to hang out with Sora like they used to. He remembered those times when he joined Sora to different worlds, and maybe..maybe it was time for that again. After all, he had made a promise to himself that he’d protect Sora.

He watched as a kid who was surprisingly shorter than Sora zip around him in circles with an inhuman like speed. Riku had to blink a few times to be sure he was seeing this right. They really did have powers. He shyly waved back when Sora caught him looking.

   “Hey, Riku! Did Dash tire you out already?” he called over, still trying to chase after Dash even if it was in vain.

   “I just need a break from the sun is all.”

Riku hadn’t noticed the other person leaning against the tree next to him until she made herself visible again. When Riku caught a sudden shape appearing in his peripheral vision, he nearly fell over when his body jolted.

   “O-oh, Violet, right? Sorry, you scared me there.” Riku placed a hand over his chest, trying to get his breathing calm and relaxed again.

   “Yeah, that’s me. And you’re Riku: Sora’s friend.” Violet smiled as she patted his back. “Sorry for the scare. It’s just nice to be able to use my powers out in public like this. It didn’t used to be this way, you know?”

   “Really? Sora didn’t tell me that. What was it like? Suppressing powers?” Riku could relate. He remembered a time when he hated himself for his powers of darkness. After all, he nearly killed his best friend. Maybe this was something similar?

   “Well, my dad told me about how it started. People without powers started to see super heroes as a threat since they could do all sorts of stuff. So, they made using powers and doing hero work illegal. My dad couldn’t be Mr. Incredible anymore, and my mom couldn’t be Elastigirl. They had us, but they kept it a secret that we had powers. Dash was always much more enthusiastic of his power than I was with mine. I just wanted to fit in. I wanted a ‘normal’ family, so I tried to make myself forget that I had them.” Violet slid down to sit on the grass. As she talked, she picked at the blades of grass, methodically snapping them. “My dad got into some trouble with some shady people. Dash and I had to step up and use our powers to help him and my mom. And the more I started using my powers, the more I started to love and accept a part of myself that I had locked away. I actually gained a lot of confidence that I hadn’t had before.” Violet glanced up at a guy across the way who spotted her and waved. Riku noted how her smile grew. “Plus, I finally got the courage to ask out the guy I had a crush on for years. I was always too timid before, and I’d turn invisible to avoid him, but now I can actually call him my boyfriend. That’s him: Tony.”

Riku looked him up and down with suspicion, but he seemed like a nice guy.

   “I can definitely relate with the whole repressing your powers thing. You see..there was a time when I couldn’t control the darkness within myself. Think of that as my ‘power.’ I ended up getting tricked, and I nearly lost Sora. The regret cut deep so much that I isolated myself. I felt that he was safer if I was far away, protecting him from a distance. But now, I know that darkness and light are one in the same, so I use it to my advantage, and through that strength, I gained this.” Riku figured it was alright. After all, Sora showed off his keyblade all the time. In a flash of light, Braveheart appeared in his hand. The sunlight that shone down through the leaves shimmered over its surface. Violet’s eyes widened as she brushed her bangs out of her face.

   “Wow, that’s amazing! You can summon it whenever you want?”

   “Yeah, pretty much,” Riku chuckled, having it disappear again. “It’s like a weapon that’s a part of my heart.” It looked like Sora was still chasing Dash around. Riku watched them fondly. “So, I know you can turn invisible, but you said ‘powers.’ What else can you do?”

   “Oh! I can create these force fields. I can use them to protect me, others, or ram bad guys with them.” Violet extended her hand out, and a translucent purple orb formed in her palm. It slowly hovered up in a lazy zig zag pattern before bursting near the first branches of the tree.

   “That’s amazing! You have two powers within yourself.” Riku watched it disappear in awe. He held his hand out as flecks of purple light reflected from it. He hadn’t met someone who could do that before.

   “Yeah! Kinda like you, huh?”

   “Hm? What do you mean?” Riku tilted his head to the side with an inquisitive look.

   “Light and darkness, right? You mentioned it earlier. I never thought I’d meet someone like me. It’s..actually really nice to know someone else has shared similar struggles.” Violet gave him a warm smile as Riku blinked a few times. She had really put two and two together before he had.

   “Yeah, you’re right. Our past struggles only made us stronger in the end,” Riku chuckled. Though he was thoroughly enjoying the conversation, he always found himself glancing back to Sora ever now and then. He could never seem to get enough of that bright smile of his. Violet looked to him then where Riku was looking back and forth until she nodded in understanding.

   “You know, I notice the way you look at him.” She winked at him. She wasn’t sure if Riku noticed just how much he stared at Sora with that look on his face, but it was more than just a few times.

   “Wh-what?? It’s nothing really. It’s just fun to watch Dash zip around like that. I’ve never seen someone move so fast or have that much energy..besides Sora” Riku stammered in an effort to cover up that he was in fact staring right at Sora.

   “Come oooon, Riku. It’s the same way I used to look at Tony way back when I had a crush but was too afraid to do anything about it. You have a crush on Sora, don’t you? You’re not slick,” she laughed, covering her mouth to keep it from bursting out.

   “Well, th-that’s..” Was he really that obvious? Maybe she just caught onto things quickly. Riku could feel his cheeks burning up, and it wasn’t from the sun. “I, um, I just don’t want to make things weird between us. I mean, we’ve been friends since we were kids.”

   “Take it from me. If you wait for the other person to acknowledge those feelings, it’s most likely never going to happen. Sometimes, you gotta step up and say how you feel. It’ll either work out, or it won’t. I took a big chance when I finally gained the courage I needed, and I straight up asked Tony out on a date. It actually went really well. You and Sora have a strong bond. Even if it doesn’t work out romantically, you guys will still be best friends. So, maybe you should take a chance? Who knows what will happen.” Riku felt a bit of comfort as she placed a hand on his shoulder. As much as he hated to admit it, she was right. Sora could be..pretty clueless to say the least. He had kept these feelings hidden deep down inside, and maybe it was time to let them out.

   “You’re right, but I need time. I’m not ready yet, but..I’ll start taking the steps. I want it to be the right place at the right time.” Honestly, confessing his feelings to Sora felt like a knife to his chest. He could already feel it tightening at the idea alone.

   “Hey, it’ll be alright. It’s better to try then live your life wishing you had. Sora is great. You guys have each other, and that means there’s nothing to fear. You two also make great heroes.” Violet gave his shoulder one last pat before standing up, stretching her arms over her head. “I think Sora’s starting to get tired out by Dash. Maybe we should help him out.”

Riku’s heart was still pounding, but he followed suit, stretching himself out once he got up. He jumped a few times to get the blood pumping. Geez, thinking about how Sora would respond was more daunting than facing a giant Heartless or all of the Organization combined, but there was no point in overthinking it. Violet had given him a shot of courage, and he found someone who shared a solidarity with him. Maybe..maybe he could attempt it tonight..just maybe.

   “Oh, don’t worry. I can catch him.”

Riku took off in a myriad of dark rolls, flashing here and there. Violet watched in awe. She had never seen a power like that before. It took her a second to snap out of it and run after him. It only took a few seconds for Riku to catch up to Dash, swooping him up to hold him in the air. He couldn’t help but laugh as Dash’s legs were still going a mile a minute even as he was held in place.

   “Hey, no fair! I’m supposed to be the fastest around here,” Dash whined, though he couldn’t help but be impressed. “Hey, Sora! Maybe this guy can give me an actual challenge.” He stuck his tongue out at Sora who promptly mirrored the same expression.

   “Riku, you joined us!” Sora leaned to the left when he saw Violet approaching. “Hi, Violet! Were you hanging out with Riku?”

   “Yeah, we had a nice chat, but I figured you could use a break from chasing Dash around.” Violet reached her hand out to encapsulate Dash in a forcefield, lowering him down to the ground.

   “Hey! No fair using force fields!”

The three of them laughed as Dash tried to run, squishing his face against the wall of the force field.

Riku watched Sora for a few seconds before offering him his hand. “We should all play a game or something, but I think it’s only fair that you and I are on opposing teams, right?”

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