xxx OH MY GOD xxx

Well, first I decided to take into consideration all the reviews I've been getting from people complaining that I haven't updated this story in like forever. I won't name any names and I won't say what kind of threats I've gotten but I've gotten a good pile of them and I've been nagged at by enough people to reconsider dumping this story on the sidelines in pursuit of my favorite pastime – Roxiri.

Heh heh, very funny.

The good news is, I think I'll continue. The bad news is, it'll take ages. One, I am missing a very important piece of paper that basically summarizes the next several chapters and THAT is always a bad thing. Two, I'm not much of a Sokairi fan anymore, although last night I found lots of evidence for my former obsession and One True Pairing. Three, I am currently taking this sociology class and I got very depressed about what we think of true love and/or marriage as juxtaposed to reality. It is VERY depressing and what a turn-off to all the things we write and dream of in our own little stories. So I'd better reconsider what the hell I'm writing and that could take a long time. Four, my laptop finally succumbed to a virus the day I was gonna post it so it's gonna take time as I have to now readjust to a new laptop with all its new quirks and yadda.

But that's enough of excuses.

Unfortunately, I probably know less about Best Deceptions than those of you who bother to read it over and over again or are reading it for the very first time. So I'm guessing a lot of my information is off. Sorry.

And now-put that knife down, you over there. I promise to continue!

xxx Shall We Begin? xxx

Best Deceptions


It was a cold day and Sora hated it. Period. No wonder this morning was crappy. When it was cold, nobody was in a good mood. Including the people talking about stupid stuff behind his back. Or maybe it was just luck. Did he believe in luck? Not since the day he got dumped onto his aunts' porch with his meager belongings by Child Services, delivered to a nightmare of twelve years or somewhat.

This cold morning, though, woke him up. His mind seemed suddenly clarified.

Why did he tell that Dr. House he had nowhere to go? For years and years he could have just snuck out of the house, gone down to Cid's store, and dialed for Child Services. They would have taken him away, and he'll never have to deal with Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker again, right? So why didn't he go when he had the chance? There were so many chances, he thought, and he never took them. Not even one.


"Why?" he muttered under his breath, white steam trailing behind him. "Why didn't I just leave? Why, why, why, why?"

Sora sighed as he looked up and found himself in Fate Memorial Park. It was empty, though, except for a few people dressed head to toe in heavy layers. They were walking or jogging or on their way to work. Several of them gave him strange looks but he already knew why and decided not to bother himself with wondering. He was ditching school and the adults knew that, plain and simple. He wondered if any 'caring' person was going to call the police and report on a ditching student.

No, the world's too apathetic. The world doesn't care if one more student misses out on a day of school. What does it matter to them? Why would they bother with someone like me? Why would they bother at all?

Sora sighed, then shook his head as he headed deep into the park, towards the pond. He doubt there would be any ducks at this time of the year. They knew the seasons and the slightest drop in temperature would send them running. He wouldn't find Friar Tuck there. He would be left alone, to wander and dwell on his troubled thoughts.

But of course, Dr. House mentioned his ties to the people around him, the people who cared for him. People like Kairi.

"I won't. Now, could you elaborate a little more? Who is this 'friend'?"

"…why do you care?"

"Because you make it obvious that you do."

Dr. House knew something. He always did. Sora could tell; this man knew things about people that they themselves could never notice. His eyes and ears easily convinced him that Sora was hiding something…or denying it.

Sora didn't know what he was hiding. The doctor knew about his aunts, and that was the only thing he hid from his friends – his life at home. What else could he be hiding? And even if he was, why would Dr. House give a damn about his personal life?

He stomped his way through the cold grounds uphill, now extremely irritated. Why was he fussing so much over what some doctor at a hospital said? Most likely he'll never see that doctor again.

And those rumors, those damn rumors about him and Kairi-

Sora suddenly pressed his hand against his face and felt it extremely hot. He stared at the ground, embarrassed that he was flushing at the thought of those rumors. He made his way up to the highest hill and sank onto the cold hard soil. He stared at the landscape, the city the park was in the midst of.

"Didn't fancy seeing you here."

Sora froze, then whirled around to see one of House's doctors standing there a little ways beyond. He had a dark satchel slung over his right shoulder and under his left arm. There was a covered cup of hot liquid – presumably coffee – in his right hand and he was clutching a half-eaten sandwich in his other hand. He seemed to have been wandering the park eating breakfast before going to work.

"Coincidence," Sora muttered, turning away to stare elsewhere. Doctors! They were everywhere!

"Hey, why aren't you at school?" Footsteps approached through the cold hard ground and the dead grass.

"No reason," Sora answered casually. He knew in his mind that under normal circumstances he would be freaking but what else was he to say?

"Really?" the doctor stood next to him, took a bite of his sandwich. "I don't recall you being that sort of person-"

"You know nothing about me," Sora muttered. Resentment rose in his chest; he didn't want to be bothered but here was House's doctor, doing just that. "Why are you-"

"Hope you don't mind me asking," the doctor interrupted, now sitting down on the hill next to him. Sora leaned away. "Who's Kairi?"

Kairi…Kairi, who's Kairi? Kairi is…

He bit his lip. Why was the question so hard to answer? Kairi was his best friend. It was a cold sentence, a solid fact he's been repeating for years in the face of those who didn't have faith in opposite-sex friendships.

"Hello?" A hand waved in his face and Sora threw himself back in surprise.

"What was that for?" he demanded.

"It's only a question but if you don't want to answer, I won't push you to," the blond man said.

"She's my best friend, all right?" Sora snapped. "Look, do we have to talk about this? I don't."

"Just curious. You were saying her name when you were sleeping so I had to ask," the doctor replied matter-of-factly and took a sip from his cup.

Sora stared at him, not believing his ears. What did he say? "I-I don't talk in my sleep!"

"You wouldn't know that now, would you?" the man replied lightly. "You were sleeping; how would you know? What kind of dreams did you have while you were at the hospital?"

Now the doctor had to mention the hospital he works at. Sora glared daggers at him; he didn't want to remember that hospital at all, not the people who worked there or the reason why he was there. It was still a shock to him that he had an ulcer, of all things. The last time Sora checked up on ulcers, they were most common amongst middle-aged adults, not teenagers.

"I don't want to talk about it," Sora retorted and sat straight and looked away. Then he turned back. "Why are you asking me this? Why do you care anyways? Nobody asks people about this stuff so why should you?"

"I'm a doctor, Sora Hamasaki," the blond man answered quite calmly. "It's what I do."

"But about this-"

"You have to understand, Sora, that you're still our patient, even though you're out of the hospital. You've recovered remarkably fast from surgery, although you were supposed to stay in bed much longer than the few days you were with us before your aunts dragged you off, those lousy gits. We have your medical records and House pulled some other things we don't need to discuss, and for some reason he won't stop thinking about you. Now that's saying something. House never thinks that long about anybody. Until they're in the hospital, he doesn't care. Once they're out, he still doesn't care."

"Oh," was Sora's small reply. He knew enough of Dr. House to know that.

"Now, you want to know why I'm asking you those kinds of questions, especially those concerning your girlfriend, and I mean it as in friend, no strings attached," the man added with great haste, obviously trying to keep Sora from storming off.
Being a doctor…is about making sure his or her patients are healthy. Most people think that if you're physically fine, you're healthy. Well, that's a lie. There's more to health than the body – the mental and the social. Research says people need to be fit physically, mentally, and socially. You're lacking in all areas."

"I do not!" Sora retorted. "I'm fine in every area, thanks!"

"You think I'd believe that crap?" the man snorted. "Your aunts will give you another ulcer within a month or two. That's probably why House went back to your case after he told all of us to obsessing over another minor case. He hates to see patients more than once. Means he didn't do his job of keeping people away."

"He's antisocial. Why not worry about him?" Sora asked crossly. The cold weather, he decided, prolonged his horrible mood.

"Do you like someone?" the man suddenly asked, totally bypassing Sora's question.

Sora opened his mouth for an angry retort, then closed his mouth and looked away. Maybe silence was the best answer. He couldn't think of any comeback good enough to stop this man's digging into his life story.

"I don't even know your name," he muttered. "Why do I even-"

"Name's Chase, Dr. Chase," the man input. "If you're not going to answer my question, let me give you another. Why aren't you in school? I thought it's illegal to ditch."

Sora sighed. "There's trouble I'm trying to avoid."

"What sort of trouble?"

"Rumors," he mumbled. Tifa's vengeful eyes burned in his mind. "There were some stupid rumors…and my friends told me not to go to school today. So I'll hang out here…until someone catches me or it's past three. I'd go to the friar but he'd have so many questions he'll overwhelm me."

"The friar?" Chase asked, apparently intrigued. "What's your relationship with a friar?"

"He's been my friend for as long as I can remember," Sora explained. "My aunts never stopped him from an occasional visit when I was young. I remember having to clean the house whenever he came over. Later I found out he was a friend of my parents; that was after my aunts stopped him from coming over so often."

"A father figure?" Chase questioned.

Sora shrugged. "Maybe."

"My father left me and my mother when I was a teenager. She died a few years later, drinking her life away," Chase said as he took another sip.

"At least you had parents," Sora muttered, now wholly depressed besides irritated to the point of angry.

"Well maybe that explains why you have a friar for a father figure and your best friend's a girl," Chase suggested cheerfully.

"I thought you were a doctor, not a psychiatrist," Sora said sourly. His stomach suddenly grumbled; Sora, out of habit, had forgotten breakfast today.

"Want the rest of my sandwich?" Chase offered, holding out the half-eaten sandwich. "You should eat, you know. One of the reasons why you ended up in the hospital was because you didn't eat enough."

Sora stared at the offering, then at Chase, then at the sandwich again. After a bit of hesitation, he took the sandwich and bit into it.

"Maybe you're right," Chase said while Sora sat and chewed through the sandwich. "Maybe House is overreacting about you. I shouldn't be asking those questions. It's so impersonal of me, but I just got so curious because you said her name while you were sleeping."

"Was I really?" he asked weakly, now starting to believe that was possible. He did have a few dreams with his best friend in it. He just couldn't remember exactly what the dream was about.

"I read some books on psychology a while back. Don't remember much of what I read because it was all so boring. That's probably why House picks on me. But it did say something about how children seek out surrogate mothers and fathers. And then I forgot."

"You think Kairi's like my mother?" Sora snorted. That was so ridiculous.

"Okay, so it sounds stupid, but it doesn't mean exactly as in an actual mother. More like…a female presence. You sure you don't like her?"

Sora fumed at the question, grappled at his hair. "Why do you keep asking me that? I told you 'No' enough times. Aren't you happy with that answer?"

"When I look at your face, when you answer, all I read is denial," Chase replied smoothly and calmly. "Denial, denial, denial. All over your face, Sora. I know it when I see it. And you're mad. That could mean several things. It could be that you hate my guts for bothering you with all these questions. It could be that you really are in denial and you really don't want to deal with what you really feel like. Or you're just annoyed and think all these questions a waste of time and that you're actually a closet bi or homosexual. Or…have you ever really given thought, Sora? Ever really thought about your best friend?"

"Several times. Why?"

Chase studied him rather severely. Sora decided the man looked downright psychotic. Maybe he was a pedophile and he was cornering Sora for an attack. Who knows?

"What's your friend like? Kairi, what's she like? How does she look like?"

If Dr. Chase was a pedophile, he was one sick pedophile.

"She's got long red hair. It used to be short, and her bangs on the left side of her face, but she changed her hairstyle. Blue eyes, and a smile. She smiles a lot, even when she's troubled…her dad works for a gaming company. They make video games. Her mom owns a little store. Something like…Lily Boutique or something…"

"English word. Means the same thing as a shop," Chase explained.

"I guess…" Sora said with a nod.

"What's she like? Personality-wise? Why is she your best friend and not some dude? Why a girl, Sora?"

This man is so damn persistent. Well then, I'll have to entertain him.

"Until near the end of elementary school," he began slowly, thinking hard on his old dusty memories, "I think it was fourth grade…I had no friends. Some people acted nice but they were not friends. I had no friends. And then she came along, in the beginning of fourth grade. She sat next to me on the first day…I ignored her. That's what I usually did to people. I ignore them. But she didn't ignore me. When the teacher asked who wanted to be helpers for the new students, including her, she asked if she could choose someone and chose me. I couldn't refuse. And…and that's how we became friends."

"Really? Interesting…" Traces in Chase's voice told Sora the doctor was very much interested in Sora's life story. "And ever since then you were best friends."

"In the eighth grade…I think it's the eighth grade…I'm not sure. It was a while back, in middle school, and Riku asked her out. She's had only one boyfriend so far, and that's him. Inseparable in their own way, really, except…"

He kept recalling the bruises on her arms and what she told him once. This was a Riku he hadn't ever imagined before. It still disgusted him.

"Except what?"

"He's not the perfect boyfriend, I think," Sora finally declared dejectedly, kicking at the ground while finishing the sandwich. "It's only my opinion, though, so I can't do anything about it. It's just…sometimes he just makes me mad, the way he treats her."

"Oh no, not another one of those stories…" Chase groaned. "It's like a soap drama. Have you ever seen those? God, Americans really overdo it."

"I don't watch television," was Sora's depressed reply. Then he repeated what Chase had just said in his mind. "You're not American?"

"Can't you hear my accent? House always calls me British. Something about putting the Queen on our money. I'm Australian. Dad's from the Czech area. Being an Australian…I can see things a lot of Americans deny, like obesity."

"Nobody denies they're fat if they really are fat," Sora countered. After all, that seemed logical. Although…Aunt Sponge never really… "Well…my aunt Sponge probably doesn't realize it…"

"Americans and fast food," Chase snorted.

"Kairi loves fast food," Sora blurted out, not really thinking but remembering the Chinese takeout she ordered New Year's Eve. "She's not fat."

"I know. That's the problem with Americans. If they can eat McDonald's and not gain ten pounds, they think they're special. It's not just fat, it's what's in the blood. That's why so many people get diabetes nowadays."

"Why don't you go tell her that? Wean her off Chinese takeout. She'll miss the orange chicken but if it's better for her health, she'll do it."

"Are you two really that close?" Chase asked, turning his body slightly to face Sora more directly. "Actually regulating each other's diets. You two ought to marry when you grow up."

Sora flushed at the mere suggestion. Flustered, he tried to think of a comeback but his mind had suddenly stopped its engine. He had run into a mental roadblock.

"There's a reason why I asked you so many questions, Sora," Chase remarked. "I wanted you to think about her. You obviously hold her differently from all the other possible friends you have out there-"

"I don't have imaginary friends," Sora muttered through clenched teeth.

"-and what you said about this 'Riku', well here's the soap drama part. In soaps, best friends who fret over the women also criticize their current boyfriends, have serious problems they hide from the world, and in lots of cases deny they're in love. I honestly think it's infatuation or obsession, but isn't that what love is? I prefer dating. It's far more interesting."

"I don't date," Sora said. "And she's got a boyfriend."

"You didn't have to point that out," Chase said cheerfully, now rising to his feet. There was a grating beeping noise coming from his pocket. "I've got to get going. Just don't tell her it's a date, more like…a little get-together between best friends. I always try and do that…Cameron never takes the bait…"

Sora turned to watch Chase wander off, muttering about someone named Cameron. Once the man was out of sight, Sora turned to stare at the dark chilly lake and pondered the whole point of his meeting Chase here. If it was some event that was supposed to take place in his destiny, it was a pointless, utterly stupid event. The conversation in which Chase persisted his friendship with Kairi was really a disguise for his love of her was bothersome as ever, not to mention quite similar to the interrogation he got from Dr. House.

House must have a way of rubbing off on people, especially those who work for him.

A date? Sora's never really been on a date, if at all. Even if he wanted to, and he didn't know who to go on it with, he never would be able to. His schedule was too demanding, especially since that pay raise made his aunts a bit more careless with things. He's been spending weeks cleaning the whole house each and every day, and it was exhausting him.

But a date? Why did he keep thinking about Chase's suggestion? Go on a date with Kairi? She's his best friend and she's got a boyfriend, Riku. And Tidus and Wakka and Yuffie were right; Sora was a lonely man. It just wasn't in his nature to actually develop that sort of relationship with anyone. After all, it took him years to open up with the help of Kairi. Why…

Well, Sora sighed as he got to his feet as well and crumpled up the paper that wrapped up the sandwich in his hand, if Kairi showed me how to make friends, she might as well show me how to go on a date. As long as she doesn't know that…and I'd better not think it that way, too. She's my best friend! These-these things just don't happen between best friends, even if it happens all the times in movies!

He began the long walk to his house, knowing his aunts wouldn't be home for many hours. He had a stash of cash he had earned from AVALANCHE and he decided it was time to spend a bit of it, just a bit.

He'd spend it for no one else. Only for Kairi. That's how important she was to him. Maybe too important.

Chase's talk was getting to him.


"You okay?" was the first words out of Kairi's mouth as soon as he found her after school. She had her arms and hands pressed behind her back, under her purple backpack, and kept them there as she stared at him and tossed her head to the side a bit to move her bangs out of her right eye.

"Yeah," Sora muttered while scratching his head and looking at his shoes. "Yeah…I'm fine, I'm fine…"

"Who do you think saw me leaving your house?" she asked as she walked up to him and pushed at his shoulder with her finger, signaling him to start moving away from school, far, far away. He was happy to, very happy to.

"Well…I don't know," Sora admitted as they walked down the street to a signal. Almost immediately the WALK sign flashed and they crossed the street. "I don't know anyone who lives in my neighborhood who as a thing against me…or you."

"Hm…" as all Kairi said and they continued in silence to the mall. Sora watched her the whole way, saw a troubled look pass over her face, and wondered why she kept her arms hidden behind her back and under her backpack.

It was only later, just outside the mall, that he figured it out.

"Sora! What the hell!" Kairi exclaimed when he grabbed her arm and pulled her back to a stop. She whirled on him, confused and angry, but paled as he held out her arm and pushed up the sleeve to study the small finger-sized bruises on her wrist.

There were a few people stopping to stare at her, pulled in by her startled outburst, but moved on. Sora waited until they resumed their businesses, then looked at Kairi, at the fear in her blue eyes.

"Why are you hiding this?" he asked sadly, letting her arm go. "Why?"

"I-I-" Words failed her as Sora turned away.

"Why, Kairi?" he whispered. His heart clenched tightly as he closed his eyes, saw the bruises on her arm. He tried to muster up a memory of Riku to wonder at in horror but he was perplexed when his mind instead brought up dusty recollections of his own bruises and scars by his aunts' hands.

"Sora, please," he heard her whisper, felt her hand on his shoulder. She tightened the grip, then he felt something press against his back. Her head. "Please…I-I can't back out of it, Sora. He…he really is all I've got."

That's not true! You have me, Kairi, ME!

"I…I can't break up with him," she murmured. "I've thought of it before, earlier in the school year, when you started asking me about the bruises and what Riku-what he's-what he's done…to me. You know I love you, Sora, but Riku's different. That's why…"

First and only relationship, Sora thought bitterly, now his heart hardening with fury. This world is playing tricks on you. You're so blinded, Kairi. You only see Riku, think he's the one true love people always talk about with stars in their eyes. And no matter what he does to you, you won't let go because he's the only one who loves you in that way. Where do I fit, Kairi? Where do I fit in the equation? Can't you see me, can't you see who I am? I'm sorry I haven't shared all my secrets with you, but please, look at you, look at yourself. You don't deserve this! You. Don't. Deserve. This!

"You don't deserve this," he whispered as he raised his arm and turned his wrist to touch her hand. "Kairi, you don't deserve this. Just tell him that. Ask him to-to treat you better. Please, Kairi, just do that. For-for my sake, just ask him…"

"Sora…" she began, then just let his name drift away.

"You're my best friend," he began with his 'best friend' speech, while his throat clenched and somewhere deep inside him something told him he was saying things wrong. "You're my best friend, Kairi. I-I can't stand it when he does that to you. I can't. It hurts me, Kairi. It-it really does."

"Nothing's perfect, Sora. Not even relationships," she said.

Sora found her words strangely enigmatic. What did she mean by relationships?

"But you got to try," Sora replied as he pried her fingers off his shoulder; they were hurting him. He held onto her hand, though, while he turned around and looked at his best friend. Her head was bowed and her hand again tightened its grip, this time on his hand. He sighed, then pulled her into a hug. "Kairi, I don't want to see you hurt. Just…just talk to him, Kairi. Communicate."

"Heh…that's what people say about relationships," she said. She let go of his hand and wrapped her arms around his waist tightly. "Communicate…"

He found those words just as disturbing. What relationships?

Communicate…there's something I want to tell you, something I need to tell you, something I should tell you…but I don't know what it is. It has nothing to do with my aunts, nothing to do with how I live with them, nothing to do with…I don't know. I don't know anymore. It's hopeless, it's all hopeless. I don't know anything anymore. But…I think there is one thing I do know. I…

He froze. Kairi didn't seem to notice, was saying something about going inside the mall and getting some hot drinks. He only heard 'inside', 'coffee shop', and 'cappuchinos'. Then she broken the hug, had taken his arm, was leading him into the mall. Warm air hit his face as they left winter behind but all he did was blink at the sudden explosion of warmth as she pulled him along. They wove through people, made their way to one of the first-floor cafes, and she led him in. He stared at her, his mind unable to work itself, while she ordered two hot chocolates instead of cappuchinos and handed him his cup before paying the cashier. Then she was guiding him to a corner table inside, sat down and he followed suit, his mind still frozen. He was only able to respond in simple ways, saying, "Yeah", "Uh huh", or "Really?" Kairi was smiling and talking and sipping her hot chocolate, her complexion becoming rather rosy as the warm winter drink did its magic. He could feel it, the warmth curling around his mind and his heart and his soul but it was unable to penetrate and oil the frozen gears of his thoughts, still frozen on that train of thought he had outside.

"…try and ask him, okay? I promise, Sora. I'll try," she said, putting her cup down and taking his hand in both of hers. He gave a start, looked at her, at her sad smile, then copied it as he put down his cup, too, and placed his hand over hers.

"I trust you," he said quietly.

Kairi looked away, looked rosier than ever.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur. Sora didn't remember what happened between their leaving the café and his saying goodbye to her before trudging up the pathway up to the house. His aunts weren't home and for that he was thankful. He had only started doing the laundry when they came barging in, boisterous yet angry at the same time. He heard many words being thrown at each other but the most-used one was 'money'.

He peeked outside the laundry room and was met in the face by a flying handbag.

"You worthless rat, come here and get these coats off me!" Aunt Sponge snapped, snapping her fingers and pointing to a spot just before her. He didn't bother touching his now-tender face, picked up her handbag, and went over to get her coats off. Then Aunt Spiker snapped her fingers, too. She was a little more difficult, being so tall, but in the end, the coats were off and they were storming off to the kitchen to continue their arguments while he hung the coats and put their shoes and boots in order.

In the laundry room, he stood there, leaning against the ugly old washing machine. His mind was drifting away, ready to pry at where his thoughts froze.

But…I think there is one thing that I do know. I-

"You, boy!" Aunt Spiker was standing at the doorway. "Hurry up with the laundry. We're starving!"

"Yes, Aunt Spiker," was his mumbled reply as he hastily dumped in the rest of the dirty laundry. His face was hot but it had nothing to do with what he was doing nor where he was. He just couldn't believe what his mind was going to say, what his heart was saying all along. He realized it now. He had muted what his heart knew; that's why he couldn't understand why he felt the way he did whenever he was with Kairi, found out or heard what Riku's done to her, or when-when she was over at the house New Year's Eve.

It was an evolution of thought. It was a conclusion he didn't want to face. But clearly some knew he would come to it, sooner or later.

"Damn the doctors," he muttered while he walked out of the laundry room and nearly fell.

Dinner was but a hazy memory when he stumbled into bed, too tired to finish eating the leftovers from the pot roast he had bought for his aunts when he was sent to do grocery shopping a week ago. He lay on his bed, unmade because of his earlier thoughts that morning. And now his late-night thoughts were fluttering over his head, tormenting him.

"It's only a question but if you don't want to answer, I won't push you to."

"She's my best friend, all right? Look, do we have to talk about this? I don't."

"Just curious. You were saying her name when you were sleeping so I had to ask."

"I-I don't talk in my sleep!"

"You wouldn't know that now, would you? You were sleeping; how would you know? What kind of dreams did you have while you were at the hospital?"

"What kind of dreams?" he murmured, his eyes fixed on a black spot on the ceiling. A black widow.

"You thin Kairi's like my mother?"

"Okay, so it sounds stupid, but it doesn't mean exactly as in an actual mother, More like…a female presence. You sure you don't like her?"

"Why do you keep asking me that? I told you 'No' enough times. Aren't you happy with that answer?"

"When I look at your face, when you answer, all I read is denial. Denial, denial, denial. All over your face, Sora. I know it when I see it. And you're mad. That could mean several things. It could be that you hate my guts for bothering you with all these questions. It could be that you really are in denial and you really don't want to deal with what you really feel like Or you're just annoyed and think all these questions are a waste of time and that you're actually a closet bi or homosexual. Or...have you ever really given thought, Sora? Ever really thought about your best friend?"

"But in what sense?" he asked drowsily to the black widow. "What do you mean by that? As a friend? As a love? Platonic? Sexual? So many ways of saying what you're really trying to say…what is it? I know she's beautiful. People say it all the time but I've known from the very beginning. I don't mean it by appearance although in that aspect, she really is…beautiful. She's the kindest person I've ever met, kind and seemingly perfect, but flawed, too. She's human. She's not an ideal, not some goddess all the high school boys are after, not Riku's…she is, you see, but…today, I was thinking about what you were saying…"

The black widow scurried to a part of her web. It seemed a housefly had caught itself in it. He followed it to the fly, watched it kill.

"…and-and yeah, we went alone…to the mall. Usually we don't because we have so many friends between us but it was just the two of us…and-and Riku hurt her again. I as so disappointed with her. He's hurting her and she's doing nothing about it. I think…I think it's because she doesn't want to lose him, is scared to lose him. Who isn't? Sometimes I feel she's drifting away and I'm scared, too. I don't want to lose her. She's the best thing in the world, the very best person in my life. She said she loves me but as a friend. Friends love each other, you know. But…"

The black widow was eating the house fly. In the moonlight she was glossy black, huge. She was engorging herself on the hapless, doomed fly. In a sense, it was beyond doomed; it was dead. Stone dead.

"She doesn't want to lose Riku because he's the only love interest she's known of so far. But…I'm here, too. Maybe I was searching for someone, a 'female', someone who'd care for me like my aunts never did and my mother never could. I don't know why I'm her best friend sometimes. Now I don't know where I stand. She was blushing. I know she was. It wasn't the hot chocolate. Maybe she likes me? That's ridiculous. Boy I sound like a drunk…"

He turned his head, his eyes away from the black widow and the shrunken remains of the house fly. He curled up on his bed, sighed deeply. His head was swimming but he didn't feel sick. His heart was pounding but he hadn't been running.

"But I…you know, maybe you're right. Maybe I am in denial. Back at the mall, I was thinking about her, her and me. And I was thinking about how I didn't know anything anymore. Talking with Dr. House made me think about my aunts and why I live this way. My friends…school…I don't know. I really don't know anymore. But…but there is one thing I'm sure of. I couldn't understand it, maybe. Other people mentioned it, hinted at it, thought it was true. Even Tifa…back then, it wasn't. But…I think something changed."

He slowly pulled the blankets over him, curled even more tightly into a cocoon. He felt slightly uncomfortable because he didn't change but he didn't care. His mind was drifting away on a thought, a dreamy surreal impossible thought.

"I think…I think I love her. Yeah…Chase, you're right about me after all. After all these years…all this time…maybe that's why I almost kissed her. It's so stupid…but I guess love does that to you…"

His eyes closed and he drifted away into a dream he had once at a hospital some time ago, where it was just him and Kairi and it was paradise all around them.

And this time he kissed her.

xxx Reviews! xxx

So I didn't exactly get to read over what the hell I wrote. Oops. This is what I get for causing my laptop to crash. Oh dear, its my fault, boohoo, blame me.

So…now that several months have gone by, what do you think? Should I keep going? Should I just give up and go back to hunching over and laughing madly over my Roxiri Fanaticism? Or what?

Please, please, please, I need your opinions!

xxx Should the Show Go On? xxx