This is what happens after watching "But I'm a Cheerleader" and spending an entire night discussing Xena: Warrior Princess and Melissa Etheridge with the person you just happen to have a crush on and all the while spending time with a huge group of fun people.  (Yes, I actually did have a life this weekend.  Wow.)

...In all honesty, I do not expect this to get any reviews at all.  oo  I really don't.  I just wanted to poke at the possibility of any yuri ever existing in Kingdom Hearts.  As well as the fact that Kairi is severely bitchified in many fics.  So.  Yes.  nervous laughter  Anyway, I'm trying to save my own mental view of her character here, so...  Ahem.

The pairing is, at the moment, rather undecided.  It will be Some-Female-Character/Kairi and near-constant references to Riku/Sora.  ...Also, since I think it would be nice to have a little of everything, why not have a small bit of Tidus/Selphie, too?  Everyone seems to pair them together, so I might as well hold up some sort of tradition.  Um.  Yeeees.  PG-13 rating for now.  Probably won't go any higher then that.  Oh, and the disclaimer....

Disclaimer:  Kingdom Hearts and all related characters does not belong to me.  Thank you.

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Raspberry Heaven

'Innocent Assumptions'

            "Hey, Kairi?" 

            The auburn haired girl was oblivious to the world around her, headphones securely placed over her ears, loud music pounding into her head.  Muffled voices raised in song could easily be heard seeping through the headphones themselves, leaving Sora with the feeling that Kairi would one day find herself deaf and kicking herself in the ass for playing such loud music.

            But that wasn't exactly what was on Sora's mind at that moment.  Kairi had plenty of time to save her eardrums, but what was more important was the question that had been nagging at Sora for the longest time.

            "Kairi?"

            And still, the only sign of life coming from the girl was the sway of her foot, snapping along in time with the beat of the music.  Yep.  She was definitely going to be deaf someday.  Possibly someday soon, if she didn't cut it out.

            "KAIRI!!"

            "What?"  Kairi lazily pulled the headphones off, hitting the stop button on her CD player, taking a few brief seconds to admire her finely manicured nails.  To Kairi, there was no immediate risk of her health; hearing or otherwise, so there was really no reason for Sora to be interrupting her daily music time.  Well, now that Kairi thought about it, pretty much all she did all summer was listen to music... but that didn't make it any less important.

            Looking down at her friend, she could tell that her mood had put poor Sora in a rather distressed state, and Kairi couldn't stop the pang of guilt that seared across her heart.  She didn't know why, but ever since she found out about Sora and Riku, she had been avoiding the two as best she could.  Everyone simply took her to be mildly homophobic (she still allowed both boys in her house, after all, so it couldn't be that bad) and left it at that.  But the thing that seemed to bother Kairi the most was the fact that she wasn't disgusted, she wasn't jealous of either boy...  Mentally, she was congratulating them on a job well done.  It had been obvious that Riku and Sora were meant for each other ever since the day Kairi arrived at the islands.

            And still...

            She couldn't place her finger on the exact reason that their relationship had caused Kairi herself to grow away from Riku and Sora. 

            "Kairi... Umm... I've been wondering..."  Kairi blinked and a small frown flitted across her face.  If Sora was stumbling over words, there was definitely something big on his mind.  She watched silently, trying to keep a blank expression as her friend furrowed his eyebrows together, obviously trying to piece together his words in his head, hopefully constructing his thoughts in the best way possible.  Knowing Sora and how he tended to act when he was nervous, Kairi was already expecting it might take a few tries.

            She remembered how he'd acted when Riku had asked him out.  It had taken the poor boy nearly five minutes to say yes.  And yet at the same time it had been the sweetest thing...

            "Kairi..."  Sora gulped, raking a hand through his soft spikes of hair, his blue eyes flickering wildly around the room.  He just couldn't take it anymore!  His curiosity was absolutely killing him, and if Sora didn't find out, he felt like he'd probably burst into a million pieces.  Kairi was his friend after all... She would understand and laugh it off if it was that silly a question... right?  Before Sora could allow himself to mull over his own thoughts any longer, the question flew from his mouth in a rapid torrent of words and syllables.  "Kairi, are you a lesbian?"

            Sora blinked.

            Kairi blinked again.

            Both sat in utter silence, and Sora instantly longed for that mind-numbing music to come pouring from the headphones once again.  Anything to ease the tension.  Maybe Kairi hadn't heard him...

            "What?"

            Ah, there we go, she was already going deaf!  Sora almost let out a deep sigh of relief, but his eyes widened as Kairi spoke yet again.

            "What the hell are you talking about?"  That... didn't sound like the voice of someone who was about to just laugh the silly question off.  Again, Sora's mouth took off without him, desperate to try and back up the boy's seemingly-random question, trying frantically to give him any chance against the tidal wave that could possibly caused by Kairi's wrath.  She had seemed awfully... 'wrathful' lately...

            "Well, it's just, I mean, ya know, you've got all these picture of girls on your walls and everything and you do listen to that kinda music and you didn't really seem to mind when Riku and I got together, but at the same time we don't all talk to each other like we used to and... Um... Hehehehe, just forget I asked?  April Fool's?  Haha?  You know...  Hehe?"

           If any of that had been proper English, perhaps Kairi could have taken in more of the babble that Sora had given her.  As it was, the combination of raging teenage hormones and her own mental frustration left no possible way for Sora to get out of the situation he'd gotten himself into. 

            And then it was although Kairi had mentally hit the pause button, as though life itself was just another CD or video which you could stop and rewind. 

            Looking around her room, Kairi had to admit that Sora was right.  Okay, so there were a lot of posters on her walls, mostly of actresses and singers, but all of them were girls.  Big deal.  Not all teenage girls had to be obsessed with annoying boy bands and 'The Islands' Most Attractive Bachelor.'  ...And it was true that in some of the posters, the girls and women were defying the dress code, but come on, if you were going to be famous, it was the price you paid.  And Sora was somewhat right about the music... Well, okay, so Kairi noticed that the majority of her CD collection consisted of various albums of the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge.  Again, though, it was just what made Kairi who she was.  It did not make her a lesbian. 

            Honestly, sometimes Sora could act like such an oblivious little kid.

            The two sat in silence for a few minutes longer, and just when it thought the conversation had finally been dead for long enough to be buried and gone, Kairi swung her legs over the side of the bed, turning again to face Sora.  The world was playing again, the pause button long forgotten in the new assault of moment and color.

            "That seems like a pretty random question to me, Sora."

            "I know... It was just... I wondered.  You know.  I was kinda worried that when Riku asked me out, you'd get mad."

            Kairi tried not to take offense at that, convincing herself that she just had a bad habit of twisting words around to make them a wee bit more painful then they really were made to be.  Nonetheless, it still irked her that people would think that after the whole coupling off of her two best friends, Kairi would hold terribly bitter feelings towards either of them.  She obviously didn't know why she was avoiding them, but she certainly wasn't angry at either of them. 

            "Well you shouldn't have worried," Kairi said with a small smile.  It was the smile she always used to give out when she was younger.  She always gave Riku and Sora that smile because they were her closest friends and companions and she felt she could trust them no matter what.  Others saw it as Kairi flirting with both of the boys.  Hmph.  What did they know anyway?  She'd long since given up trying to convince people that she wasn't out to break Riku and Sora apart.  Even Riku seemed to be hostile towards her for some time... 

            Sora returned the smile, relieved to find that some of his old friend still existed.  "I know... It just... You don't think we're all drifting apart, do you?"

            How exactly could Kairi explain that she knew she was the one causing the three to grow apart, but that she didn't know why?  Somehow, Kairi doubted that Sora would believe that story anyway, and the brunette would instantly assume that Kairi really did know why she was upset and just wasn't telling...  It all seemed so complicated.  And again, Kairi was only making it even more complicated, rehashing old words and information over and over again in her mind, eventually coming to the conclusion that sometimes, it was best not to trouble Sora with her own problems.  The boy couldn't hold the world on his shoulders, after all.  No sense in adding stress to his carefree life.

            So Kairi laughed and to anyone else it looked like she was truly amused at the ridiculous idea that Sora had proposed.  Drifting apart?  Sora could be so funny, so funny...  After a moment Kairi reduced herself to only a few small giggles and said, "We don't drift apart, Sora!  Come on, I thought you knew at least that much!"

            Several more hours trickled by in much the same way, the tension dissipating between the two friends in the blink of an eye.  Sora was as happy-go-lucky as ever when he waved goodbye to Kairi and headed off, probably to go find Riku and spend some time with his beloved boyfriend.  It was what Kairi would do if she had a boyfriend, anyway. 

            Making her way inside, Kairi passed by the living room, where her father was idly flipping channels on the TV.  It never failed to amuse Kairi when people did that.  Why couldn't they just find something they liked and stop poking around at all the other channels?  Or better yet, just do something more productive then watching the damn thing at all.  And at the moment she just happened to walk past the living room, the channel-surfing paused and runway models filled the television screen, attitude and poise in their every step.

            Kairi paused and glanced again at the screen, tilting her head to the side as she studied the girls illuminated by spotlights and camera flashes.

            Huh.  They were probably all plastic anyway.  Still. 

            Kairi shook her head and trotted up the stairs after the channel switched again, happy to return to her loud music and her independence.  Yeah, Riku and Sora were probably swinging by the ice cream parlor at that very moment, but as much as Kairi still felt that she cared for both of her friends, she didn't want to be a third wheel.  It was just one of the things that she had forced herself to do. 

            It would be what she would want if she had a... boyfriend.  Right.

            The next morning Kairi was cheerily walking down the stairs, fully dressed and ready to grab an apple and fly out the door.  Yesterday's conversation with Sora had left Kairi feeling somewhat nostalgic and antisocial, so she was planning on making up for it.  And what better way to do that then to spend the entire day hanging out with her friends on the beach?  Granted, she sometimes got annoyed with Wakka and Tidus, who were friends of Riku and Sora, but she put up with them all the same. 

            However, she hadn't even gotten halfway down the flight of stairs before her parents' voices drifted up to her ears, Kairi's name sewn into the speech.  They were talking about her?  How interesting.  They were usually talking about Kairi's older sister if they ever bothered to talk about their children at all.  Despite Kairi's annoying conscience telling her she was being 'a very bad girl,' Kairi stopped her descent and instead stood still and quiet, listening carefully to the conversation going on downstairs.

            "--And you know she dresses differently...  Don't you think we should be worried?"  Kairi frowned and glanced down at her clothing.  Dark red tank top, her swimsuit underneath, black jeans, worn black sandals...  Um, hello?  It wasn't exactly as though Kairi would label herself as intimidating.  She was going to the beach, not to some crazy sock-hop. 

            "I don't think so.  I read about it in one of those parenting magazines, you know.  Apparently many girls her age today go through this... emo phase.  They're just trying to express themselves, Aiden."  It was all Kairi could do to keep herself from bursting into laughter right on the spot.  Just what did her parents think they were raising?  The monster from the black lagoon?

            "But you know what music she listens to.  The people who sing it... Ugh, those women..."  Okay, hold it right there.  Kairi frowned and leaned forward, listening even more intently to her parents' words, her anger slowly rising by the moment.

            "Yes, yes, I know.  It could just be her taste, though.  But I do think you have a point and maybe we should look into it."  Her mother's voice paused for a moment and dropped into a quieter tone as though she were about to exchange terribly dark and secret information with her husband.  "Do you know those two boys she hangs around with?  Riku and Sora?"

            Uh oh.

            "Yes, of course I know them.  Sora was just here yesterday."

            "Well if what I hear is correct, then it just so happens that those two boys are... gay."  Leave it to Kairi's mother to make it seem as though one innocent relationship could be the start of the Apocalypse. 

            Her father must have been drinking coffee, for he was certainly coughing and sputtering on something then.  Once he'd finished coughing, his voice was nearly angry enough to send Kairi herself reeling backwards.

            "And those boy hang around our daughter?!"

            "Shh!  You don't want to wake her!  ...But we must do something soon.  We can't have them rubbing off anymore on her.  It's already bad enough.  I'm sure that if we do something now, Kairi won't turn into one of them."

            That was pretty much the breaking point.  Kairi didn't feel like going to beach anymore and her upbeat mood had dissolved into nothing.  How could her parents talk of her friends that way?  They'd known Sora and Riku ever since Kairi and her family and first arrived at Destiny Islands!  Would they really turn on their daughter's friends so easily?  All just because of the way Sora and Riku interacted with each other?  Hell, it didn't even have anything to do with them at all. 

            Kairi soundlessly turned and made her way quickly back up the stairs, no longer wanting to hear more.  She was sure her conscience was probably laughing at her by then, screaming "I told you so" at the top of its lungs. 

            Why on earth did everyone seem to suddenly think that Kairi was a lesbian?  Listening to openly gay singers and having posters of girls rather then boys did not, by any means, make her gay!  It just made it different, that was all.

            Kairi closed her bedroom door behind her and returned to her bed, cradling her precious CD player in her arms.  It was somewhat sad that the only thing that seemed to not care about her apparent sexual orientation was a little piece of machinery.  Somewhat sad... and just really quite pathetic.  Reaching over towards the foot of her bed, Kairi turned on her own small TV and buried herself beneath heaps of pillows and blankets, determined to conserve what little of her happy mood she had left.

            And who should she find on the TV screen?  None other then her favorite singer, of course.  This alone was enough to brighten Kairi's day as the broadcast showed the concert from somewhere on the mainland. 

            "She is beautiful, she is talented, she's an activist, she's a pioneer, she's a great kisser... She's a true rock star!  Melissa Etheridge!"

            The crowd went wild, the music started pulsing its same hypnotic tune that was so familiar to Kairi, and inwardly she couldn't help but wonder what could possibly make people hate and despise others just because of who they chose to love. 

            Not that it mattered to Kairi. 

            No, she was just protecting her two best friends.

            She was just watching her favorite singer at a concert Kairi wished she could go to.

            And she was certainly not doing anything wrong.

            But that didn't stop her parents from giving Kairi worried glances all week and it certainly didn't stop the puzzled looks she could see Riku and Sora giving her.  The worst part of it was that Kairi couldn't figure out how she was acting any different then how she normally acted.  As far as she could tell, there was nothing weird or strange about her now then there had been about her ten years ago, and yet back then she wasn't stuck with people accusing her of being a lesbian all the time.

            By the end of that week, Kairi was starting to feel as though she were some animal in a zoo, constantly being observed and monitored by other people.  Why not just give her bedroom door a sign that said "Please do not feed the animals?"  As it was, Kairi did her best to avoid family dinners, her paranoia growing by the day.  What if that day her parents actually decided to confront her about it?  What would she say? 

            Kairi needed to buy herself more time, just until she could come up with some concrete evidence that she was perfectly straight and normal.  What she needed was a boyfriend.  The idea didn't much appeal to Kairi at all, but if it got everyone off her back then she was more then willing to do it. 

            And so it was settled.

            Kairi sat in her room, basking in all the glory of summer vacation, old concert tapes in her VCR, music stretching from wall to wall, serving as the best kind of sedative Kairi would ever probably get her hands on.  No matter what everyone else thought, Kairi would get herself that damn boyfriend if it killed her.  She had already set out her clothes for the next day, preparing to get a bright and early start in the morning.  Not only was her wardrobe planned out for the entire day, but she had a neatly printed agenda folded on top of the pile of clothes.

            -Morning jog around boardwalk

            -Sun tan on beach

            -Ice cream parlor

            -Swimming

           

            Granted, it wasn't exactly specific.  But it at least gave Kairi a few ideas of places to go to try and find some random guy.  Hopefully it wouldn't really be as difficult as everyone made it seem. 

            Letting out a deep sigh, Kairi simply allowed herself to be swallowed yet again by the music.  The next day didn't exactly sound like fun to her.  But the last thing she needed was for the entire island to start believing that she was gay.  That would just be absolutely ridiculous. 

            "Hehehe... All you have to do is strum a guitar and you've got everyone wrapped around you finger," Kairi said to the television screen.  It was true.  No sooner had the first few chords drifted into the air was the entire audience captivated by the singer, completely at her mercy.  "Huh.  Too bad it doesn't work like that for the rest of us..."

            Kairi sighed and reached over to her bedside table, switching off her light and plunging her room into darkness, except for the brilliant light radiating from the screen in front of her.  Deaf and blind in her future.  What difference would it really make if she were a lesbian or not at that point?  Kairi laughed softly to herself before turning her attention yet again to the concert, leaning into the pillows behind her and simply enjoying the song.

If I wanted to, I could do anything right

I could dance with the devil on a Saturday night

If I wanted to, I could turn matches to gold

Smoke, drink, swear, and I would never grow old

I wouldn't have to be in love with you

If I only wanted to, if I only wanted to!

It was too bad that real life didn't work that way. 

Kairi soon drifted off to sleep, music still filling her mind even in her slumber.  It helped to keep her from thinking about those trivial things in life.  Parents, friends, and her reputation.  Sometimes it was almost enough to drive Kairi to just throwing it all out the window. 

            In her dreams, of course, Kairi was perfect.  Her friends and family hung on her every word and they never doubted for a moment that Kairi was a wonderful person.  She had wealth, beauty, fame, and...

            Why did she have a girlfriend?

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            Yes, I know.  I don't update in forever and I repay you all by making a random.... thing.  I can explain, I swear.  Right then.  Ahem. 

            Riku and Sora are not in my brain.  At all.  Having never had any sort of writer's block before, I can't figure out how to fix it.  It's not even like I can't write anything.  I just seem to be momentarily incapable of writing anything that has two males within five feet of one another. 

            So... I hope this didn't really disappoint anyone all that much.  I do realize that I could have just given Paine and Rikku their own chapter in OftB, but I already have that entire fic blocked out.  Ehh.... falls over

            Okay then.  Only two items of business left to cover...  One of which is, yes, the comic.  As I posted in my livejournal (which is seriously neglected), I don't know if I'll be doing the manga for Wish I Was Your Lover after all.  Lately I've been feeling like doing something original... maybe... And my sister offered me a script as well.  It's well thought out and I'm quite addicted to the plot, but... I don't know, it's all really up in the air.  (Plus, lots of personal matters are popping up left and right, I've suddenly got the desire to spend more time with my friends, and things are basically just really, really hectic.)

            Phew.  Right then.  Last thing...  This chapter is obviously reflecting my Melissa Etheridge love.  Ehehehe.  The funny thing is that not many people my age know her at all or like her kind of music.  (This all ties back to those crazy personal matters, really...)  Anyway, the concert snippets are from actual concerts, the first one being from the Equality Rocks concert, which featured Melissa Etheridge as well as many other people I didn't know, and the song itself is 'If I Only Wanted To.' 

            So concludes my hideously long A/N.  Umm... Hope you read it, 'cause I think one or two of those things was actually important.  Namely the apology and the manga bit.  The big question is, if I ever worked on an original project, would anyone read it? 

            Thanks for your time.  As always, love you all.  (Oh yes, and please tell me what on earth to do with this random thing.  Is it of any interest at all?)

Ori