Okay, phew. So this one-shot has been out for 3 years now. That's really unbelievable. I feel like I wrote this just yesterday. Even so, I know my writing has improved a lot within the recent years and as good as this story may be; I know it needs some editing. And I'm here to give it to it. Along with rewrite my dedications. I was going to write several dedications, but I decided to leave only one. Holt, Taylor, Zanisha, and Kurt; I love you but I have too much to say about you guys XD.
Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, nor do I own My Last Breath by Evanescence which is a band that I do not own.
Hold on to me, love.
You know I can't stay long.
I only had one night. One night to make up for leaving her all of those years, lingering on a promise that I didn't even think that I'd be able to keep. But there I was; back home. I wished that I could say it was to stay forever but it was my last night alive as opposed to only my last night on the island. I had completed everything written in my destiny as the Keyblade Master and died finishing it. Now I was left to fulfill the last part of my destiny as Sora.
No 'Keyblade Master', no 'Chosen One'; just Sora.
I didn't know how I was there, but I certainly knew why. But I didn't question it; not at all, for I felt as if I questioned how I was there the chance would be snatched away faster then I could say, "Never mind."
Expecting the ocean water to be at a frigid temperature, I closed my eyes in preparation for the sting as I began to wade farther out. The water beginning to seep through my clothes, it was much warmer than I expected. Summer temperature. Had I really lost that much track of time?
I blinked my sapphire eyes open, gazing out over the horizon. The water was gentle and calm so I had no worries about being taken under by the waves. Even though I grown up on the island, the burning of salt water still bothered my eyes. Even Kairi had gotten use to the sting, and she had arrived on the island when she was five.
"Kairi…" I let out a sigh, ignoring my spiky hair lashing out in every direction from the rapid, sea wind. "I really need to find her. I only have a couple of hours left…" I muttered to myself. Turning around slowly in dread that I had to leave the warm ocean water, I quickly paused with a jolt after a figure on the beach had caught my eye.
It was a girl, that was for sure; her body slender even in the shadow of the moon. Her hair giving off a soft red glow, my mouth slightly parted in a gape.
'It couldn't be…'
If it was Kairi, she was now at least half a foot taller than she had been and her hair had grown out past her shoulders. 'Not to mention she's certainly become more…womanly.' I added with a painful swallow. That was awkward. 'Whatever,' I shook off my thoughts, concluding, 'She's still Kairi and that's all that matters right now.'
Both staring at each other in interest and possibly in shock, neither of us made the slightest movement. Parting my lips, I gave an attempt to breathe even though I knew that my lungs were not going to function; the air caught in my chest due to the anxiety.
"…Sora?" Her quiet call cut through the silent air, and I lost it.
Running through the water at top speed and having to catch myself from stumbling a few times, I made an impact with the redhead and collected her into the tightest embrace that I had ever given anyone.
"Kairi,"Was all I could muster at that point; and I said it over and over again. It even seemed to sound better with each repetition that passed my lips.
She seemed to be just as happy and relieved as I was, not even noticing that my soaked clothes were ruining hers as we clung to each other. "Sora…I'm so glad you're home." She replied with a choke in her voice; obviously trying to hold back tears.
"I am too, but please don't cry, cuz then I'll start." I choked too, but with a laugh and traitor tears that escaped from the edges of my eyes the moment I had finished my plead.
She noticed. Letting out a giggle, she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Even though her tears distressed me, her smile was almost enough take me over. There was just something about how her lips curled upward into that grin that was so cute that it almost took me over. "Sorry…but it's hard not to." She laid her head against my shoulder as she finished, looking up with bright sapphire eyes that reflected the moonlight.
"Aw, c'mon, don't look at me like that! I already feel bad enough." I gave a soft laugh, resting my head on top of hers, taking in the fragrance of coconut from her hair.
Just in time to ruin the moment, the realization of why I there rushed through my senses; I was already dead. I was only here for tonight. If this sharp ache was meant people meant by heartbreak, I didn't understand how anyone could possibly manage to cope with it. I hadn't even told Kairi the news yet. My heart would surely stop then; I wouldn't be able to handle seeing her cry again because of me.
"You don't need to feel bad. I know you did it to protect me, and you're home now so…" She talked into the fabric of my shirt but I still managed to understand her words due to my closeness, finishing, "It doesn't matter."
"If only it were that simple." I let out a heavy sigh that blew several strands of her hair out of place.
At this, Kairi raised her head and stared me down with a look that was clearly etched with fear, "What do you mean by that?"
Head hanging low and my arms falling from her sides, I muttered, "I don't know how to explain…"
How was I suppose to tell her I was dead? Or more importantly, how I'm somewhat still alive for the moment, what had happened on my journey that led to this…How was I suppose to fit all of this information into one night and manage to convince her that it was all true?
"Explain as much as you can." She placed both of her hands on my shoulders to show that she was waiting and listening.
"You'll probably think I'm lying." I answered with a small lift of my head and a smile to her.
Rolling her eyes, she gave a smile too and leaned in closer to my face, replying, "After what we've been through now, I think I'll believe anything."
Giving a wider grin, I distanced myself from her again so that I could make sure I was thinking straight as I gave my explanation. Shaking my head and letting out another sigh, I turned to the ocean, and began, "Maybe…So you know how this Keyblade Master this is written in my destiny and whatever, right? Like, no matter what I could have done it would have happened."
Making her way beside me, I saw her nod from the corner of my eye and reply, "Yeah."
"And that certain things have to happen due to my destiny." I continued, delaying the final confession as long as I possibly could.
"Certain things?" She pressed the subject on with an impatient sigh, anxious for what would be literally my demise.
Letting out a breath of air, I relayed the final part of my travels, "I finally found the Door to Light; the door that had to be closed to stop the Heartless completely and for all the worlds to be safe. But there was a catch…It wasn't enough just to seal it. I had to give up something else. Something important." It was so, so close. My heart was ready to rupture from the suspense. 'Kairi, please be strong. Please don't cry. I won't be able to take it…' I pleaded mentally, hoping that somehow our connected hearts would manage to get the message to her.
"The Keyblade?" She questioned in almost a laugh, "Is that what you mean? Sora, the fact that the Keyblade's gone means everything's back to normal; it means--"
"Kairi, that's not what I meant." I interrupted, the sinking feeling in my chest increasing so much more than I had ever thought possible. Not able to face her, I turned away and mumbled, "To seal the door, I had to die…"
"Die? But Sora, you're right here--" Her fingers brushed my shoulder before I whirled around and took her in my arms as to not let her see the tears forming in my eyes again.
"For now. This…This is the other part of my destiny. Something even being a Keyblade master couldn't change. I promised you I would come back, and here I am. Only for tonight…But it's better than nothing, right?" I attempted to turn something serious into a joke and choked in a pitiful laugh.
"It is." She answered with only a small strain in her voice, her head turning towards mine to ask quietly in much more strained tone, "But, Sora…why?"
"I don't know, really…" I had to turn away, my heart wanting to rip itself out of my ribcage. It hurt so much to see her like this; worse than I had even imagined. Worst of all, it was impossible to think of words to say that would comfort her. I didn't know any more than she did, and I had the feeling that if I tried to explain that I simply accepted my destiny…things would not go over well.
"This shouldn't happen. You saved so many people; you saved the entire universe--" She practically yelled out in frustration, her expression fiery. It was sort of ironic that this girl that was once so enthusiastic about 'fate' and that sort of thing, and now she was cursing it.
"That may be true but I don't question it, Kairi; and neither should you." I interrupted with a small and comforting tone, leaning my head back so that I made eye contact with her again.
"But…" She blinked, tears sprinkling from her confused sapphire eyes and flowing down her cheeks in a swift stream.
"Shh. Don't say anything; just close your eyes." I cut off her words again, closing my eyes and letting out a breath of air before opening them again to see her giving me a questioning stare. "Please?" I added with a small grin.
"Okay…" She answered hesitantly, her voice still in a higher pitch from her crying. Blinking her eyes shut, it was only a few seconds before she peeked out of one to see me giving a disapproving stare. "Sorry." She whispered, closing her eyes again and leaving them shut this time.
Grinning a bit to myself, I leaned down and whispered back into her ear, "It's okay. You have no idea how long I've waited to do this." Glancing towards her eyes, they were still shut but her eyebrows were furrowed in confusion. Leaning in farther and having my lips make contact with her cheek, I felt her twitch in surprise. Rather than feeling her pull away from my touch, I felt her instead pulling closer. I took this as my hint to move further. Closing my eyes myself, I moved my lips down to hers and finally kissed her; the thing I'd been wanting to achieve ever since grade school but couldn't find myself ever brave enough to do it. Her lips caressing mine in what seemed to be an equal eagerness, I was quickly intoxicated. But I knew there was more to be said.
Breaking away but only remaining centimeters away, I kept my hands lightly at her cheeks and confessed, "Kairi, I love you. I would do anything just to stay with you. I wish you didn't have to feel pain or be sick, or anything bad. I would do anything for you to be always happy. And I hate that once I leave tonight, I won't be able to touch, hold you, or even just talk to you anymore. But I swear that everyday I'll be right there, beside you." A tear might have escaped as the words slipped past my lips without thought, but I wasn't sure. Everything was starting to seem unreal.
"Sora, I love you too." She answered in a tear filled squeak, burying her face against my chest and continuing, "How am I suppose to live when you're gone? I don't think I can…"
"Shh…You have to. I don't want you to change at all. Besides, I won't really be gone; remember? You'll just be the same carefree and happy girl that I love." I answered confidently with a grin, stroking my thumb against her cheek in attempt to comfort her.
"It's not the same, Sora." Her knees gave out, pulling us both down into the sand. Her eyes now bloodshot and her face tear streaked, she looked up and repeated in a whimper, "It's not the same."
"Please, Kairi…It's already hard enough as it is." I whispered pleadingly, looking off to the side in attempt to help my heart rise somewhat back into my chest after seeing the pain that was etched into her expression. It was bad enough I knew I'd only be able to be with her for a few more hours, but the thought of leaving her and hurting her this much was unbearable.
"I can't help it, I can't…" She collapsed against my chest and continued her quiet cries.
"Kairi…" I hugged her as tightly as I could, "God…I love you. I hate that it has to be like this." Tears fell from my eyes; silently hitting the sand, soon to be washed away by the ocean waves. Sort of like how memories fade with time. Would I be forgotten once I was gone? Would all of the memories I share with everyone be erased?
Thinking about it made me uncomfortable, but I knew what would happen would happen and there was absolutely no way that I could do anything about it. Letting a moment pass by, filled only with our quiet sighs and sobs, Kairi broke the silence.
Breaking our embrace by standing up and looking back down at me, Kairi ordered in a very serious tone, "Sora, I can't stay here. I can't be alone again for so long. These past few years without you have been so painful for me…I can't imagine having to go through my whole life like that. I have to go with you."
"No you don't! You have so much more to life for!" I practically yelled as I jumped up to talk to her at eye level, feeling a bit of anger rise in me as I finished, "I'm not taking that away from you."
"But I don't want to live the rest of it if it means losing you." She whispered and looked up at me with those bright sapphire eyes.
I turned my head away, "Don't talk like that. You know you want to live out the rest of your life. People lose their loved ones everyday, and they continue living. I'm not saying they forget them or move on, but they continue living; which is exactly what you're going to do. You're going to finish school, get a job, fall in love with someone else and eventually get marri--" I felt a hard slap across my face and stopped my rant to raise my hand to my face, touching the burning skin in disbelief. My eyes shifted back to her in a wide stare.
"No! I don't want to fall in love with anyone else!" She yelled out in response, her voice cracking many times. Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, she finished in a much quieter tone, "I especially don't want to get married to anyone except you, Sora."
"Kairi, you know I would give anything just to stay here. And just so you know: talking about you falling in love with someone else and marrying them is enough pain to kill me again, right now. Even before I knew you felt the same, it hurt to think about it. But I know you will fall in love with someone else. It's a part of life, though I hate to say it. That doesn't mean that you won't still love me, though; I'll just be in a different part of your heart. Even if you end up not loving me anymore in that way; it's okay. I just want you to be happy, not be in constant pain because of me." Taking her hands in mine, I ordered her, "So you have to let this guy in, Kairi. Don't turn him away. I want you to promise me."
Turning her head a way and letting a few more tears fall onto the sand, Kairi answered quietly, "I…I promise."
Pulling her into another tight embrace, I sighed as I tilted my head against hers, "Thank you." She gave no vocal reply, only a small nod. Closing my eyes, I inhaled the coconut fragrance from her hair and smiled. I would miss every single little thing about her. The things I've always known like her smell and her smile as well as the newly discovered things such as how warm she feels pressed against me in a deep embrace and how her lips move against my own.
Taking the silence as something being wrong, Kairi called out in a squeak, "Sora?"
Opening my eyes and lifting my head to give her a grin, I placed two fingers against her lips and replied, "No more words." Inhaling a breath of air and letting it out, Kairi gave a small shake of her head before complying to my command.
Letting the hand on her lips slide down to her waist, I pulled her closer and quickly closed the distance between us. As she returned the kiss, her arms this time reached up around my neck to pull her body even closer to mine. I discreetly nudged my tongue against her lips, feeling a bit guilty for rushing her but found that the attempt was willingly accepted. Then again, it was the last time that I could attempt something. Exploring deeper than I thought I would ever get to do, I moved a hand up and down her back. Still kissing her but easing her downward towards the ground, I eventually broke away and collapsed backward; pulling her with me.
Neither of us said a word; we only stared up at the black velvet sky, beaded with light from the stars while I held her in my arms. The silence filled up by our somewhat heavy breathing, we both glanced at each other before bursting into a short fit of laughter. The fact that we had gone from best friends to more in under a few minutes seemed very strange.
"The sky's really pretty." Kairi stated in a small sigh, her eyes glued upward.
"Yeah. But you're beautiful." I let the words escape, hating myself once I did. Just about every other guy to ever exist had said that line and I had just become one of them. The saying that love messes with your head was finally starting to seem true.
Kairi turned her over to face me, the moonlight hitting her porcelain skin; giving her an angelic sort of glow. She truly took my breath away. She held a surprised look on her face for a moment and then she gave a small smile, "Thank you." I flashed her my smile that was only meant for her before I looked back up towards the sky.
"You know, it feels like I don't have that much time left." I stated quietly and fought off the urge to see her expression and the pain that it probably held.
"Don't you want to see everyone else? Before…" Kairi's voice faded out and I felt her turn her head to the side.
"I guess it would be nice, but I probably shouldn't. It'd only cause more grief and more guilt on my part. Besides, my promise to come back was only to you. Wait, make that promises." I sat up, pulling her good luck charm out of my pocket and held it out in front of her; a pinkish white flower with a smiley face modeled after me, dangling from a fragile crystallized chain. She stared at it almost in disbelief, the moonlight illuminating the tears that brimmed her bright sapphire eyes. With a small smile, I wrapped my arms around her again and whispered into her ear as I placed the charm into her open palm, "You didn't think I would forget, did you?"
"No, I didn't." She shook her head, some of her hair blowing into my face from the strong winds from the sea.
But I didn't mind, I only pulled her closer and kissed her on the cheek, "Good."
"I wish we could just pause this moment, or something like that. I don't want you to go…" She looked up at me with a hurt expression.
"You have no idea what I would give for that. But…" I kissed her lips lightly, staying only millimeters away once I pulled away and whispered, "I can't, and I'm sorry."
"No, don't be sorry. At least…at least I got to be with you again," A pair of tears cascaded down her cheeks though she held a small smile, "Thank you, for doing that; it means the world to me."
"I had to. If I had the choice to live and never see you again, I would still have it this way. Although I wish I didn't have to make you go through this much pain." I leaned my head against hers, closing my eyes with a sigh.
"It's okay, Sora." Kairi answered sleepily, closing her eyes for a couple of seconds and then opening them quickly and repeating the process.
"Go to sleep, Kairi…" I gave a small laugh, caressing the side of her face with my hand.
"I…can't" She responded barely above a whisper, her eyes staying shut.
"Yes, you can," I bit my lip, the feeling that my time was almost over getting stronger. If Kairi was asleep when it happened, it would be so much easier. Easing her down so that she was using my lap as a pillow, I let out, "I love you."
A faint smile was traced on her lips as she echoed back, "I love you too." Giving no more words and only shallow breaths, I knew she was asleep. The fact that she was asleep was much more calming but my heart was racing as I could feel myself beginning to fade. I desperately lingered on the feeling of having her next to me, close to me; but slowly that warmth started to fade too. As my vision began to blur, I kissed her lips one more time, knowing I would never be able to again. My world went black as I broke away from her.