Watching Kairi cry was like a Keyblade to the heart, every time. Whenever it happened, all Sora wanted to do was drop everything so he could hold her and comfort her. But right now, that was impossible. She was crying because he was fading away, and he had no body to comfort her with. So her tears slid down her cheeks with nothing to stop them, nothing to soothe them. They just fell and fell and fell, and not even the comfort of their friends could make up for him getting torn from her side.
When he woke up, a single raindrop landed by the hand that had just moments before held hers.
In a world without her, he dreamed of her. She shed many tears the day he abandoned her, and each one was a new stab to the heart, knowing it was his fault she was grieving like this. He'd left her behind when he promised they'd always be together. Saving her was worth his life, but was his disappearance worth the pain it brought her? He'd refused to live in a world without her, and yet he'd inflicted the very fate on her that he wouldn't accept. How was that fair? How was that right?
Of course she didn't blame him. Of course she blamed herself. She insisted on going to Radiant Garden and telling the researchers to cast her into a deep sleep in the hopes of finding him. From then on she was hovering there, on the edges of his consciousness, on the boundary between sleeping and waking, watching and waiting for the right moment. But they could never quite reach each other.
Then she could reach him, but it was too late. His body was as good as ice; he was cast into a sleep deeper than hers, deep as death, frozen in time. A crystal prison that was supposed to "save" him, whatever that meant. But it didn't feel like salvation; it felt like hell.
He was fully aware of everything that was going on around him, but he couldn't do a single thing about it. Kairi was weeping over his crystallized body, sobbing like he hadn't heard her sob in years, crying harder now that she'd found him than when she'd lost him. She threw her arms around him as the tears streamed down her face, but he couldn't feel her touch, couldn't sense her warmth. Couldn't wrap his arms around her or wipe the tears away. Couldn't even offer her any words of comfort or reassurance. For all she knew he was an emotionless statue, completely unaffected by her pain and grief when really, it was tearing him up inside.
"Sora," she sniffed as she wiped her eyes. He should be the one wiping her tears away, but instead that was left up to her. "I'm so sorry."
She looked straight into his eyes, and hers were red and puffy from crying. Enough. He couldn't stand this anymore; couldn't stand to see her cry. Surely there was some way he could comfort her. Surely there was some way to show her he cared.
He thought back to all the fairytales she'd told him, to all the stories he'd heard. Becoming crystal was the stuff of legend, but there was one story that had always stuck with him. A young woman who became crystal after fulfilling the duties set before her by the gods. She left behind her fiancé and her sister, and the only thing she could give them while she was frozen, the only thing that brought them comfort was…
A moment later, there was a soft clinking sound, and Kairi's gaze fell to the ground at their feet. "What's that?" She knelt and picked something up, then straightened.
"Is this… a crystal tear?" she asked in disbelief. She held it up, and he could see now that his plan had worked. There was a small, tear-shaped crystal in her palm the same clearish-blue as the crystal he'd turned into. The only thing that could possibly comfort Kairi was to offer up his own tears, and he hoped it would work.
"Sora? Are you crying for me?" she said, her voice shaking as she looked from the crystal in her hand to him. Her lower lip quivered, and more tears pooled in her eyes, but she didn't shed them. Instead she wiped her eyes again and sniffed. "That means you can hear me, can't you? You can see me." She gently cupped his crystal face in her hand, and how he wished he could feel her touch. "I'll rescue you, I promise," she said, her voice full of determination. Her face relaxed a little, and she smiled through her tears. "Thank you for comforting me."
It was the least he could do, after all the times he'd made her cry.
She lifted the crystal tear to her lips and tenderly kissed it, and something stirred deep within his heart. He'd wanted to comfort her, but now she was comforting him. Her heart was as strong and as kind as ever, and even in her pain she was reaching out to him.
"What you did for me just now? It was beautiful," she said softly. "Your heart is your greatest strength, Sora, and don't let anyone make fun of you for it or tell you otherwise."
She reached into one of her pockets and pulled some string out. She'd always kept her pockets full of pieces of twine, bits of cloth, a small bottle of glue, that kind of thing, and Sora watched as she carefully crafted a makeshift necklace, then put it on. His tear now rested close to her heart, and she rested her hand over it and smiled sadly.
"So you'll be with me until I can rescue you," she told him. "I can't stay here any longer because my dream is ending. But I'll come back soon, I promise."
In a world without her, he dreamed of her, but this time with the hope that she would return to him soon. And on that day, he would comfort her not with a crystal tear but with real tears. She wouldn't have to cry alone or without comfort; no, his hands would wipe away her tears.
For that, he would wait however long it would take.
A/N: I opened up my ask box over on tumblr to a kissing prompt list, and I'll be slowly working my way through the requests I've gotten so far! Hope you enjoyed!