Author's Note: Due to insistent begging from a crazed fan, I have decided to finish this story a day early. It seems that if I don't get it online fast enough, she'll have nothing to read on a car ride to somewhere out there. Well, I have been ready this whole week so why not?
Copyrights: All characters belong to Square-Enix and Disney. The storyline is mine. The feature song is by Faye Wong. You know who, I bet.
Eyes On Me
5 – Eyes On Me
It was only later that I found out the whole story behind everything. Behind me and Kairi. Behind Axel's interrogation. Behind Sora's involvement with Naminé.
Kairi. It started with Kairi.
What I had always viewed as friendship with Kairi was something more for her. I learned later the details from Orette, that she had an intense – intense! - crush on me since Day 1 more than ten years ago. My obliviousness had eventually driven her away to Sora, who himself had liked Naminé in the first place but had given up on her when she first went out with Riku.
Obviously things have changed since then.
Four years ago – during the ninth grade – I started talking in my sleep. My family didn't even tell me this. And since they didn't tell me, I never knew exactly what it was I was saying. Who knew what deep dark secrets were spilt in the middle of the night. Who knew what impulses, suppressed emotions, and hidden feelings came free in the daily darkness. All I knew was that my dreams were being constantly plagued with the presence of my best friend.
It turned out that practically every night I spoke Kairi's name. Again and again and again.
And that was around the same time Axel started pestering me about Kairi. Did Sora put him up to this?
Bastard. Brother or no, I'm killing him.
But why did Axel agree to this? He knows me better than Sora, even.
Unless Axel also knew.
Woe is me. What a miserable life. What games were people playing with me? I don't understand-
My brother was the extrovert. He was the one people saw, people turned to. He was visible. Our friends were his friends. My parents always had to think before mentioning me. My best friend gravitated to him when she realized there wasn't any hope with me. We were still friends.
But no longer.
And on a side note: Not long after prom was over Yuna mentioned something interesting, something about how, when she and the others were on their way to the location of the prom in a limo, they nearly collided with an erratic and idiotic motorcyclist.
I rest my case.
I came into the room, rubbing at my head with the damp towel, and saw her standing against the window, hand pressed against the glass and fogging it up around her fingers. She had a towel around her shoulders and underneath that my mother's bathrobe; the last I knew of that prom dress it was sitting in a miserable little puddle in front of the washing machine downstairs, along with the rest of our soaked clothes. Her hair was still damp; she had not dried it out.
I leaned against the doorframe, felt a smile come to me as I pulled the towel off my head and hung it around my shoulders. I don't know; this probably wasn't the best of times but I found myself smiling unexpectedly whenever I saw her, whenever I even thought of her. Maybe it started long ago and I never noticed it but she always made me smile. Always.
Whenever sang my songs
On the stage, on my own.
Whenever said my words
Wishing they would be heard.
I saw you smiling at me.
Was it real or just my fantasy?
You'd always be there in the corner
Of this tiny little bar.
I shifted my feet slightly and the floor creaked. She turned and smiled nervously, then surely as we made eye contact. She was blushing.
How hard was it to hide one's blush? Kairi had done an incredible job hiding it for all these years. But I felt so relieved…relieved that finally it was all out in the open. We had nothing to hide from each other anymore. Nothing.
"You were always special, Roxas. From the moment I saw you, you became a part of me. For twelve years you were a part of me. But I…I dreaded letting you know. I didn't want to let it out. What if you lost that special quality of yours? Then what?"
My speed bike was still out there somewhere, dented and thoroughly ruined by my woefully inadequate treatment and care of the vehicle. We took a late bus home. The bus driver looked at us two soggy teenagers rather questioningly – Kairi had that prom dress to worry about – but he took us home anyways. We sat in the back, freezing our asses off because the idiot driver didn't have the sense to turn off the bus's air-conditioner, talking. Just talking.
"Maybe I loved you but never knew it. We were little kids back then. Young. Innocent. Naïve. Foolish, even. I guess as I got older I realized who you were to me. Who you always were."
I was so uneasy about revealing my innermost emotions but that was just my imagination. Around her, I felt free. Always felt free. And this time, I had no need to check myself. I had no need to hold back.
"I went out with Sora because I was so scared. I was so scared of you. Of us. We had such a powerful friendship, but I loved you. I loved you all throughout the years. It was so hard, so hard trying to decide what to do, because at one point I thought I loved Sora…but really I loved you."
She had cried against my shoulder, telling me over and over again how she had finally come to realize by the eve of the prom what she was doing wrong. The one reason why she was so out of touch with the rest of the world Saturday. Why she had panicked at the prom and eventually left.
The prom itself wasn't the biggest dream she had when she was a little girl. Her dream was going to the prom…with me. Not Sora. Not any of our other friends. Me. A little girl's dream was lost as she got older but that day, when I was there helping her get ready, the dream came back to her. She realized that she really didn't love Sora in the first place at all. That she would be going to the prom for nothing, because I wouldn't be there. That she wanted to stay with me, even though so much had been put into the signature high school senior event.
We just had to be twins, didn't we?
"Axel's been telling me for ages that my behavior alone said I was in love. I didn't believe him. I mean for all of my life you made me smile and I didn't think more on that. But maybe to him it meant something different. And as I got older, things became clearer. But to him. Not me. I knew me and I thought he was wrong. But he was right. I was wrong."
Know thyself. I told her Socrates spoke the sanest bullshit and she laughed. The bus driver turned his head to see what was up. The three other passengers, all strangely elderly, did too. But it was okay. It was all okay.
"I was always wondering when you would see me. Twelve years, Roxas. And until today, until a few days ago, I had given up. I thought my…my feelings for you were things of the past, and buried them. I tried to hide them forever. But things kept happening and I kept finding myself wanting you. I wanted you to see me, the way I wanted you to, because…because it was torture. I…I wanted your eyes…on me."
My last night here for you.
Same old songs, just once more.
My last night here with you?
Maybe yes, maybe no.
I kind of liked it your way,
How you shyly placed your eyes on me.
Did you ever know
That I had mine on you?
It was pouring when we got off the bus and walked the three blocks to my house. It didn't matter to us whether or not it was sprinkling or pouring. We were soaked to the bone, we couldn't get any wetter, but cold wasn't as much a factor anymore.
"I was so scared when I realized just what it was I was feeling. A slight touch, eye contact, a call, anything, everything, every little thing made me jump. I was paranoid. And then I started trying to figure out if what Axel said was true. He was right. And it scared me. After what I went through with Naminé, I clung to you because I was hurt. And even after she was forgotten I stayed closer because I didn't want to get hurt again. But I was still hurting myself."
Outside my house, on the driveway, I had pulled her close and kissed her gently on the lips. It was still raining. Sensuous. That was how it felt. There was an intensity that overwhelmed my rationality, left me bubbling up with the light inside her. The light.
It was difficult getting into the house, I'd admit. I couldn't get enough of her. I wasn't kidding; after that first kiss I wanted to keep kissing her forever. Sex or no sex, life couldn't go on without me drifting away on her flavor. I kept kissing her, every five steps, until we reached the porch, then the door, where we stood there for who knows how long, literally on the verge of making out.
Hypothermia was still dangerous, especially in these cold spring rains. But we only thought about it later, after we had managed to get the door open, take our shoes off, and stumble into the dark house. It was cold. Damn cold. I went and switched on the lights, then we decided on our next best course of action.
Which was why Kairi's hair was still damp and she was wearing a white bathrobe. Which was why I was drying my hair while wearing only a pair of pants. While she had gone to my parents' room, I had wiped out my room of the mess I created earlier and went off to take a shower myself, forgetting – of all things – a shirt. And it was a shirt that caused the mess of clothing earlier.
Her smile was so pure, so radiant. It totally blew me over. Under her gaze I felt like I was melting.
"Hi," she said.
To my amusement, her face became darker as I crossed the room to her. I looked out the window, watched her from the corner of my eye.
She blinked for a long moment, then nodded. She was staring at me. Interesting. How much of a distraction would I become?
"What do we do now?"
The question's been on my mind ever since we came to my house. I had stood under the showerhead, steam curdling all around me, trying to figure out what I was going to do. What she was going to do. How we were going to face the world. Together. By now perhaps people are beginning to realize that the 'perfect' relationship between Sora and Kairi was over. I mean, Larxene wasn't the only one who saw him leave with Naminé, right?
Perfect. It was perfect. That's what people called it. That was until I came back into the equation.
She turned to the window, too. Her breath fogged the window as she spoke. "I don't know."
"Yeah?" I looked at her, waited for her to say something.
Gods, she looked so beautiful…
"Last night…about last night…"
"What about it?" That bizarre conversation was still rather fresh on my mind. So many questions…
"I only called because…I couldn't sleep. I was trying to sleep, and I couldn't. I tried telling myself to close my eyes and just fall asleep, that today was going to be a big day, but I couldn't. I felt so…anxious, frustrated even. I didn't know where it was coming from but I couldn't sleep. So I called you. I thought maybe talking to you would help me but…suddenly I felt so awkward. Like I've never talked to you before. I actually called your cell three times and hung up as soon as I pressed 'Call'. I was so scared."
"Scared?" I stepped closer to her. "Why?"
She shrugged. "I don't know." Her voice was a whisper, barely louder than the rain assaulting the windows. "I loved you forever, even though I tried to hide it until it was forgotten…but last night I was so scared. I felt like a young teenage girl on a high from some crush. But I was a high school senior with a twin as her boyfriend and the other twin as her best friend. I kept telling myself that Sora was my boyfriend and that I loved him but…you know how wrong that felt to me? When I first started dating Sora, I felt so nervous around him because I've never been in a relationship before but I got used to it. And suddenly I started getting nervous around you. I couldn't calm down, even though I tried to hide it. It started getting the best of me, too, and that scared me so much. It was out of the blue, out of nowhere, and it became clear to me last night."
She suddenly turned her head and looked at me.
"But when I stopped myself from hanging up the fourth time and heard your voice, I felt so calm. So peaceful. Like everything was going to be alright. How'd you do that, Roxas? How do you do that?"
Baffled. I opened my mouth but closed it tightly, realizing I had no way of responding to this. No way of explaining it. I didn't know. I didn't even have a clue who was calling me when I answered the phone that night. And I wasn't in the greatest of moods when she did call. I was going through my own self-examination at the time.
Darling, so there you are
With that look on your face,
As if you're never hurt,
As if you're never down.
Shall I be the one for you
Who pinches you softly but sure?
If frown is shown then,
I will know that you are no dreamer.
"And…when we stopped talking…and it was just all quiet…I don't know. Talking to you – lying to you, actually – and then listening to you breathing, it just made everything seem right. You made me feel so peaceful. You set my world right again. And then…when we were trying to say good night and hang up…"
It dawned on me. Had she heard me? Had she heard me say-
"…I heard you. So quiet I wasn't sure if I heard anything at all. But I did. I really did. And suddenly I felt happy. So happy I burst into tears after I hung up…and I woke my mom up." She was smiling ruefully now, as she turned back to the window. "She asked me whatever the matter was and I told her it was nothing, that I was thinking about the prom. But it wasn't nothing. I wasn't thinking about the prom. I was thinking about you."
She heard me. I felt myself go warm, knew I was flushing red, and tried to turn away. But then I felt a hand on my arm, felt the hand slide down to intertwine with my hand. I turned back, looked at Kairi rather questioningly.
"You know," and she took a step closer, "I never got a chance to tell you this but…"
The room was suddenly stifling. I tried to keep myself from swallowing nervously as she took another step closer. Energy. The air seemed to crackle with it.
"…you look really cute when you blush."
I smiled at this. She was blushing again. "Well, Kai, I never told you this but…"
I leaned forward and whispered into her ear.
"…you look cute when you blush, too."
Strawberries. I can still smell the strawberries. Best fruit in the world. Then my mouth was skimming across her cheek, felt the soft silky warmth. She gave a shuddering sigh, and I felt her grip tighten on my hand as I made my way to her mouth. I didn't kiss her, though. Not yet. I hovered over her lips, felt myself wanting to taste her again but held back, just for a moment. She was so addictive. And I felt so stupid for never knowing that.
I pulled back a little more, just slightly, but felt myself freeze up. A shudder and fire. She was tracing circles, her fingers brushing over my bare torso. It felt like she was studying me, exploring my form with her fingers, her touch. And every moment of contact was like feeding kindling to the flames. It was becoming unbearable.
Impulse. Desire. Passion. I felt it rise, the irrationality, blind and wild in its intensity. Agonizing. She was driving me over the edge. How did she come to have so much power over me?
With my free hand I stopped her hand, pressing it in where my heart was. I was so sure she could feel it beating, pounding with reckless abandon within me. I looked at her, at the surprise on her face. Another smile.
"Eyes on me, Kairi," I said simply, and kissed her.
So let me come to you,
Close as I want to be.
Close enough for me,
To feel your heart beating fast.
And stay there as I whisper
How I love your peaceful eyes on me.
Did you ever know
That I had mine on you?
I felt her lips move under mine. She was saying something. The meaning was lost to me – I didn't have a clue what she was saying – but it didn't matter. Just the feeling of her mouth against mine was enough to send me over the edge-wait. There was no edge. I was soaring free. And I wanted to take her with me.
I pulled back, tried to catch my breath. It hurt, my heart hurt from racing with fury inside of me. I could feel something bubbling up in me, a brewing storm waiting to erupt.
I can't take it too far, I heard myself say in my mind. If I take it too far…
Kairi was saying something. I brought myself back, just in time to hear the last half of it.
"…kiss me again, Roxas."
I smiled and kissed her again. She shifted slightly and I felt her easing her mouth open. She was inviting me and I took the invitation without hesitation. Without a pause. With complete abandon. She made a noise in the back of her throat as I pressed in but I only sensed the vibrations. I heard nothing but a roar, felt the blood rushing as I was overwhelmed, again and again, by her. Somewhere deep inside Kairi lay a mystery, a tangible, real enigma. It wanted me to explore it and open it up to expose its secrets.
So many secrets. So many-
Her hands skimmed over my torso, brushing over my skin, driving me mad. Insane! I couldn't think, couldn't find my senses, my reasoning, my mind. A tidal wave of fire washed over me and that something that had stirred within me once long ago came roaring into me, trying to wrestle control out of me. It wanted her. I wanted her.
I finally pulled away from her mouth, from the haunting flavor that was her, and started tracing her lips. Soft. They were so soft and so warm. I could sense her breathing, realized how fast she was breathing. In and out. In and out. I found myself matching it. One. We were one.
My mind kept turning over these thoughts but my body was thinking otherwise. Two different centers of control were ruling me. My mind wondered over my love for her; my body wanted to explore her, touch her in ways I never even dared try to touch my ex-girlfriend.
I could find no other way to explain how I went from tracing circles around her lips to kissing her neck. The skin was so smooth there, and I could feel the vibrations of energy running underneath. I pressed my lips against her neck, felt desire overwhelming me as I slowly made my way down to where neck and shoulder met. I wanted her so bad; it was driving me insane.
"Roxas…" she whispered. Her voice was shaky.
Reality. How painful it was. I stopped, tried to figure out what had just happened. Tried to realize what I was doing to her, to myself. Felt the heat radiating from her skin, felt her body pressed against mine, against the window, felt hot blood rushing through me, waiting, waiting, waiting…
I pulled away slowly, and found myself missing her already. I bit my lip and looked away. Had I gone too far? I couldn't help myself but…
I turned back to her, felt a smile edging in through the fearful worrying. She was smiling, too. Her eyes were bright and light was flashing within the blue sea.
"Yeah?" I pressed my forehead against hers, closed my eyes, listened as our breathing slowed to a steady pace. Together.
Usually that meant something. But I wondered if it was different this time. After tonight, things aren't going to be the same again. I know it.
"I love you."
She told me how much she loved me but this was…so direct. So sudden. So simple. So beautiful.
I tilted my head and looked at her, at the expression on her face. She was smiling, but…there was something different about it. It wasn't just simple happiness. It was…it was something else. A different sort of happiness. Relief, perhaps? Or peace. Maybe peace. After all, she had weathered a whole lot to go from a childhood crush to…well…this.
And I was so willing to reply.
"I love you, too."
I pulled back for only a second, and decided that the world will be as the world does. Then I leaned in and pressed my lips against hers, wanting to drown myself in her flavor again.
Darling, so share with me
Your love if you have enough.
Your tears if you're holding back
Or pain if that's what it is.
How can I let you know
I'm more than the dress and the voice?
Just reach me out then.
You will know that you're not dreaming.
I dreaded Monday, to be honest with you. I'd be facing the whole school as the culprit, as the one who split one of the most popular couples in high school society. Me, the twin standing in the shadow of Sora, had gone and run off with his girlfriend.
But of course, that's not how it is. That's never how it is. Never, ever wholeheartedly believe in gossip. Shame on you if you do.
Sunday evening, I was downstairs on the couch with Kairi, basically just sitting there and listening to music. Her music, really. She loved Utada Hikaru. And a few others…but mostly Hikaru. Sora had locked himself in his room when he came home; I've barely seen him since prom night and he was gone Sunday morning. Right now he was in his room; his car was in the driveway and his door was locked.
I wonder if he realized I had gone through his room.
My parents came home and ended up confronting not only the three of us at the door, but also a parking enforcement officer, who came inquiring about a certain beat-up speed bike found at the beach. Mine.
Parents never forgave me for that. I'm sure of it.
Sora and Kairi made a point of never mentioning their split, but when I got to school that Monday, people started pointing fingers at me. I didn't need to ask around; they were talking about us, about Sora's split with Kairi and my being privy to it since we were living under the same roof. Bah! Like they knew anything, friggin' nosy people. But when I approached our group of friends, which I noted to be sans Sora, I was shocked out of my wits.
Axel, his arm around Larxene's shoulder, was chatting away with Riku and Wakka when he – obviously – saw me. He shouted, ran at me, tackled me, and yelled right into my ear, "I knew it! Beat that, Roxas! Beat that!"
"What the hell are you talking about, you psychopath!" He was crazy, I swear!
"Oh don't you go around acting dumb and blind, lover boy," Axel grinned, backing away. I can breathe! "Larx here told me everything-"
She came up and smacked him on the back of his head. "What did I tell you about calling me Larx?"
"Ow! Larxene, that wasn't cool."
Ouch. Sizzle. Axel's got himself a handful. And he's still grinning like his birthday had come to stay. That can't be a good thing, I think.
Unfortunately, Axel's death hug was the introduction to something worse. Selphie – Selphie? – ran to me with a squeal.
"Finally! Took you two forever! I mean, I've been pestering her forever about you two and she was like "Nuh-uh!" and I was like "Yuh-huh!" and that was for like seven years because like it was in sixth grade that cooties became stupid and silly but I don't know why cooties stopped her because nothing ever stopped her, which you should know, but-but-but like finally, FINALLY, you two got it going-"
She kept talking. Oh my god, my poor ears! She kept rambling on and on and on and nothing made sense eventually. I peeked at the rest of our friends, who were looking at me with sympathy. Actually, Riku was laughing behind his hand but Orette, my good cousin, was giving him the death glare. Some of the others were starting to smile, too. But Paine, who was Yuna's friend, had the most bored expression on her face. After all, she was out of town when all this shit started happening. Can't blame her, can I?
I was really asking for it, wasn't I? Thank Selphie for making a scene and putting all the attention on moi. Damn it!
"-and she actually dreamed of kissing you before, did you know that? I doubt it; she still has trouble saying stuff like this which is why I'm her friend; I can tell you everything and I think I will, at least until she gets here-"
And the weirdest, weirdest sensation came over me. Something was telling me to turn. And I did. Selphie shut up immediately. I could feel her eyes piercing me. Selphie never liked being interrupted or rudely ignored. Ouch.
I forgot her. I forgot the world.
And there she was. Standing a few feet away, in the midst of other students, smiling and blushing all at once. Spring wind was whiffing through her long red hair; it looked like strawberry silk under the morning sun. And her eyes…damn those eyes…and the smile, the smile I've been around all my life but never appreciated more than now…
I ran to her, hugged her tight, and kissed her in front of the whole school.
I actually felt glad when it got noticeably quieter.
When I finally pulled back, I could feel myself blushing, too. I looked around, saw that a lot of the high school students had frozen in their tracks. One of them dropped the Starbucks bottle from which she was drinking; it landed on the concrete with a spectacular blast of shattered glass.
I smirked. I was loving this.
"Hey." A finger poked me in the cheek. "Let's get to our lockers."
I looked at her, smiled, and let her go from what seemed to me was a bone-crushing hug. She was the one who took my hand and held onto it tight as we walked into school, ignoring our friends and everybody else in the process.
And for once I tread the world without fear.
Take that you people and your stupid rules of love. Love follows no rules. Love heeds only what the heart tells it.
Add that to your book, why don't you?
Darling, so there you are
With that look on your face.
As if you're never hurt,
As if you're never down.
Shall I be the one for you
Who pinches you softly but sure?
If frown is shown then I will know,
That you are no dreamer.
Author's Endnote: Thanks for your consistent – if sometimes crazy – support of this short story. I love y'all! Please review and give me your thoughts on this short story. Sometime next week, please check my Profile for news regarding ALL my stories, as school is messing up all my plans. And again, thank you.
It is fin.