Both confused and joyful, Howler was at a loss for words. Her thoughts exploded rapidly like fireworks as fast as her heart beated in her chest. Hands trembling, she pulls the chair next to her away from the table. This was Howler's physical way of saying, "Sure".
Riku's smile dimmed as he sat in the chair, his eyes fixated on Howler as if awaiting for her to speak. Howler, looking away, finally faced Riku. Her thoughts clouded her vision, but now seeing Riku did it clear the fog away. Howler couldn't look away once she glanced at him. She took his face into her hands.
"What're you doing?" Riku chuckled, feeling Howler's warm hands rub his face.
"I just wanted to make sure you were real. That I'm not in a dream," Howler answered, grateful that she wasn't. Riku's smile returned as he softly grabbed Howler's hands. Holding her hands, Riku's smile dimmed again. This time, his face displayed a gloomy look.
"This maybe the last time I will ever see you again..." Riku muttered, looking away to not see Howler's expression. Howler's expression did indeed change to something more pained and hurt.
"What do you mean 'last time' Riku? You've barely been by my side and now you say you won't be seeing me again? You'll never return? You'll forget about me?" Howler cried, more tear barriers breaking.
"Howler... I might die. This long battle that I've been facing for years, I've been trying to stop Xehanort. But this battle is now involving all whom I care about. I have to protect them, protect those who matter most to me. I never want you to be involved in this, I need you to be safe. But I'm not saying I'll make it out alive, I may have to do whatever it takes to save my friends. Even giving up my own life".
Riku holds Howler's hands tighter as her sorrow and tears unleash from its prison. Howler stands up from her chair.
"Don't say that Riku! You'll live! You're the strongest person I know, and with a good heart. Please don't say you'll die, please. I've waited for you, for so long. For 2 years have I sat here thinking about you, and you come back to me just say you'll die?".
Howler loses her voice, closing her eyes to shield away the visions of seeing Riku's final breath. Riku lets go of Howler's hands and uses one of his hands to wipe the tears off her face. He then stood from his chair and wraps his arms around Howler.
"I will never leave you, I'll always be there for you. No matter where I go, no matter what I'll do, I'll always be with you. If I live through this final battle, I will come straight back here to you. And I will never leave you again. I promise," Riku assured. Giving her a kiss on the head, Riku makes his way to the exit.
"Riku..." Howler interrupts, stopping Riku's movement as Howler turns to him, "... may your heart be your guiding key". Riku smirks.
"Why did you start this little fanfiction? And this place?" Riku gave one last question. Howler smiles.
"For you," she answers. Riku's smirk turns into a full smile. He turns back to the door and walks out. Howler still looks at the door, replaying in her mind that very moment of him walking out. She tries to vision him walking back through those same doors into the bar, back from a long and tiring battle to stay with her forever. Turning back to the table she sat in, Howler notices something Riku left behind on it. Howler recognized it from the stories Riku use to tell her about his home.
It was a half-eaten paopu fruit.