midnightdiddle: (zelda down)
[personal profile] midnightdiddle
Ignoring the fact that the bingo ended three months ago....

The bingo square Historical: World War II.

Sora, Riku, and Kairi as nisei during WWII. It ends rather abruptly, because I started working with internment camp dates, and the sections of the military that accepting Japanese-American soldiers, but that just got. Too depressing and time consuming, and so. It ends shortly after Pearl Harbor.

Also, it takes place somewhere in the intermountain west. So.


Snap the Whip


The war begins when they're in high school. It doesn't really hit them then, doesn't really affect them. Food gets a little expensive, and sugar gets a little scarce, but not really. America's not in the war, and so when the newspapers have headlines blazing about the Allies and the Axis, they walk to school, three in a row, and don't look at the newspapers.

Kairi swings her arms when she talks to them, rises up on her tiptoes, and Riku and Sora fight over her books and who gets to carry them. They scuffle there in front of the gates, and when the teachers start calling last minutes, Kairi grabs her books and runs through the gate, her skirt lifting to flash her knees.

Riku and Sora run then, pelting down the street so they can make it to their school before they're called truant. They take the stairs two and three at a time, Riku always three strides ahead. On the second floor, Sora turns right to run for his homeroom, and Riku takes another flight to the junior's floor.

That's when the war starts.

It's Europe, though, and America is isolationist, so it doesn't matter; doesn't really change anything, except that sometimes, it's a little hard to find fruit or pastries or the lace that Kairi's mother sews onto Kairi's blouses.

Riku's family wants him to go to Japan for his last year of school, so he can meet his grandparents and cousins, so he can learn to be Japanese in a way he's never quite picked up in America. He swings Kairi's books by their long strap, swinging it away from Sora's grabbing hands, and laughs.

"My mom," he says, "doesn't want me to go. She wants me to stay here and help her with the shop. It's my dad, my dad."

The year goes by like every year of their lives-- The fall gets colder, and the snow falls. They wear scarves and mittens, the bulky hat Sora's mother painstakingly knitted two years before. Riku's cheeks are always red, the tip of his nose, too, and Kairi pulls a hat down over her ears, burrows her chin into her scarf.

They breathe out frost into the air, and throw snowballs, and when the lake has frozen over, they find their old iceskates, wicked steel that Riku's uncle sharpens for them.

Kairi spins around them like a ballerina, her fingertips spread and tipped in cold. Her hair is longer than the year before, and she wears it loose, strands that pull loose of her heavy coat's collar. Riku and Sora fight here, too, pushing each other across the ice until Kairi tires of her pirouettes and reaches her ice-tipped hands out to them.

They play snap the whip, throwing each other over the ice, the snapping of the wind brisk on their faces. They laugh when they fall in snow, one after another, and when they go home, they're half-frozen and tired, muscles sore.

Winter melts, and spring blooms, and they all move up a grade, one birthday after another (there isn't enough sugar for three cakes, so they share a cake, baked and frosted by their mothers).

In the summer, they swim in the lake. Sora peeks looks at Kairi's long, bare legs, scandalous beneath her swimsuit. Riku looks, too, and Kairi looks back at them, and the lake is cold enough to cool their cheeks.

"I wish," Sora says, when they're sitting by the lake, dressed and tied and put away neatly. Riku is picking flowers for Kairi, and she's braiding them into a thick garland, heavy with the scent of nature. "I wish that it'd stay summer forever."

They sleep in the grass, all of them together, their mothers and fathers coming to watch them now and then. Kairi twists her skirt around her legs demurely, and Sora and Riku fight to act like more a gentleman than the other. They hand her in and out of cars, escort her home, and she laughs at them, and grows her hair longer.

In the new year, Riku runs up another flight of stairs, and Sora stops a flight before him.
Kairi walks through her school with her classmates, laughs and compares the lace on her sleeves. Riku is going to graduate in the spring; he talks about going to college sometimes, when they're walking down the street, shuffling through leaves on the sidewalk. When they're crunching along, Kairi fidgeting with the cuffs of her sleeves and Sora trying to grab her hand, the world feels fresh, and clean, and the war seems very far away.

On the weekends, Riku's uncle takes them all to the movie theater, where they eat popcorn and smear butter on their fingers and mouths. (Sometimes, Sora dreams of licking the butter from Kairi's mouth, and from Riku's fingers, and wakes up hot and breathless, a sticky mess.)

They sit together in Kairi's kitchen, doing their homework and eating snacks and listening to their parents gossip in Japanese. When Kairi kicks Sora's leg under the table, Sora grins at her and Riku rolls his eyes. One night, halfway through October, Kairi kisses Sora, then leans up to kiss Riku, and runs from them both, down the long, cracked sidewalk that leads to her home.

They spin in pirouttes through the year; they kick through the leaves and the snow and the flowers, and in late May, Riku graduates from school, standing tall and skinny and bored, rolling his eyes at them from where he sits with his classmates.

They take pictures with Riku's family, slow clicks of his father's camera. There are presents and cards from all of their families, and from their families in Japan, too, and there are tickets to Japan, too, for a long trip over the ocean on an ocean liner. Kairi cries on the stoop while Sora sits next to her, and Riku comes to say goodbye, a man's hat on his head.

"I'll be back soon," he says, and when Sora sniffs just a little, he rolls his eyes at them both. "I'm not going there to stay. I'll be back before the summer is over."

He leaves with a leather suitcase, and Kairi and Sora cry at the lake, where they can sink beneath the water and pretend that the tears aren't there. They lie in the grass, just the two of them, and when Kairi braids her garlands, Sora picks her flowers, daisies and baby's breath and posies. Violas and bluebells stain his fingers green, and Kairi's lips stains his mouth sweet.

The summer drags on and on and on, hot and heavy days bearing down on them. They sweat beneath the sun, sitting on the stoops of their homes, drinking cold water and eating cakes of sweet rice. Kairi's fingers are quick and nimble, and Sora's are stubby and blunt, and when they hold hands, their palms grow hot and damp. (They can't let go, because when they do, they can feel Riku's absence like a papercut in their chests, something sharp and painful but invisible to the eye.)

He comes back after they've started their senior year. He's taller, maybe-- It seems like he's taller, and like he's older. He doesn't laugh as much, but he smiles at them, and when he kisses Kairi, he kisses Sora, too, and when they're hiding behind the line of trees at the lake, he touches them like a man, his fingers smelling like the leather of his trunk.

He walks through the leaves with them on the way school, scuffing his way through the red and yellow and brown, and after he leaves them at the gate of their schools, he goes to his family's store, and works at the register until the ink of the money blackens his fingers and his fingertips always taste of metal. (Sora knows this because he licks butter from Kairi's mouth now, and from Riku's fingers, and Kairi's mouth always tastes sweet, and Riku's fingers always taste metallic. And still he wakes up hot and breathless, a sticky mess.)

The world feels like it's moving slower and faster all at once, and sometimes, when Riku is carrying Kairi's books and Kairi is holding Sora's hand, Sora wonders where they are going to go, because there can't be a place in the world big enough for them, open enough for them. The sidewalk isn't wide enough for them anymore, they can't walk side-by-side-by-side (because Riku is a man now, with shoulders too wide to fit in their childish world).

When the first snow falls, Riku wraps a scarf around Sora's neck, and slips his too-big gloves onto Kairi's little hands, and takes them to the lake, where they watch the snowflakes melt into the water. When they crawl into Riku's uncle's car, Riku crawls over Kairi, and pushes her legs open, and kisses her and touches her and fucks her, his mouth against her neck and his hands around her waist and his legs between hers. She wraps her legs around his waist, throws her head back against the seat, her long hair falling over the side.

Sora sits in the front seat, twisted around so he can see them, and he masturbates quickly, furiously, smashing his mouth against the leather of the front seat until he can't breathe. The air in the car is hot and humid, smells like sex (like Sora's sheets after he dreams about them), and Riku kisses Kairi's mouth, then Sora's, and Sora can taste Kairi's sweat on Riku's skin. The next day, Kairi holds Sora's hand while they walk to school, and Riku walks two steps behind them, whistling and swinging Kairi's books.

In December, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and someone throws a rock through Riku's family's store.

Kairi's father starts walking to school with them, because there aren't that many Japanese in town, and suddenly, Kairi and Sora and Riku look very foreign. Sometimes, Sora stands in the bathroom and looks at the mirror, and he touches his face, presses the pads of his fingers against the corners of his eyes, and makes a face at himself. There is no where, he thinks, that is big enough, and open enough, for them in this world.

Someone cuts Kairi's long, beautiful hair.

When she comes out of the schoolgates, escorted by one of the teachers, her face is red and splotchy, and her hair is ragged and uneven. There are scratches on her neck and face, and when Sora holds out his arms, she falls into them, and cries, and cries, and cries.

After that, Sora walks to school alone, with Riku walking two steps behind. Riku doesn't whistle anymore, doesn't swing any books. Sometimes, when the wind is blowing snow into their faces, he'll take three big strides, so he's abreast with Sora, and sometimes, if the snow is heavy enough, he'll reach out and grab Sora's wrist, slip his hand down until they're holding hands, two pairs of thick woolen mittens.

It is a long, cold winter.
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