Author's Note: I'm changing the author's note:D This rarely ever happens. I'm much too lazy to rewrite this thing ever ;; So yes. This is the last chapter. Lalala thanks so much to everyone who left a review! You are automatically loved. :D Now to sedate the million other KH fic ideas breezing through my head . ;;

Disclaimer: I can't even afford chocolate, so… I don't see how I could own anything from Disney or Squenix. ;o;

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Midsummer Panic
Chapter 17
I quite like my rose-coloured glasses on this way, thank you

Pain.

Extreme, throbbing pain.

But she didn't mind it, really. As soon as her eyes cracked open and she noticed sunlight filling up every corner of the room… it was going to be a good day… or not. Not all the pain or the sun in the world could make her forget her whole "heart-to-heart" with Riku from last night. I didn't actually agree with him, did I? He was just taking advantage of the fact that I was drunk… what a bastard. She gave a short yawn and sat up amidst the pillows and blankets. She had no idea what was up with Axel's pillow fetish, but she always thought it was adorable that he loved soft things. She massaged her temples slowly in an attempt to rid herself of her supposed hangover and managed to catch something at the corner of her eye. It was red, frizzy and hunched over the edge of the bed, sleeping peacefully. She poked at its frizzy red hair for a moment and noticed that it was still asleep. "… you could've woken me up, you know." She whispered to it, him… Axel. Yet a smile came to her lips as she brushed his hair aside with her fingertips. … okay if this isn't awkward, then I don't know what is.

She sighed, wistfully. "I had a dream last night… very weird." She told him. She glanced at him a moment, just to make sure he was still asleep, and then continued. "It was after I passed out from alcohol indulgence, so… it's a little off." A pause. "Don't laugh."

Axel said nothing.

"I was at the beach," she began. "And I was wearing this wedding dress… but it was black. Black, but the undergarments of the skirt were blood red. I remember because I kept reminding myself that. I had just run away from my wedding, apparently. I was by myself for a long time watching the waves… and then someone comes to join me. I never saw his face, but I knew it was Sora because… b-because it just was." A pause; she looked over at Axel to see if he was still sleeping. His eyes hadn't twitched at all. She whispered to him, "You listening?"

Axel said nothing.

"Okay so," she continued. "The two of us start talking, although I can't remember what we were talking about. It went on for a while. I remember being really happy. And then he asks me something like, 'so where are you going?' or whatever. And for a while I was confused. I mean, I didn't really know where I was going, but… I knew… in a way. So I told him, without thinking… 'I'm going to your funeral'." A pause; she looked over at Axel's sleeping figure. "It only seems weird now, I swear."

Axel said nothing.

"Well," she nodded. "I told him, and then he gave me this confused look and says, 'well you better get going or else you'll be late'. I was confused, but I wasn't confused… sort of… because in my dream, I was all 'that's true—I better leave now then', but now thinking about it, it doesn't make any sense. I leave and I'm running across town in a wedding dress, but no one seems to find this weird. I get to this graveyard where there's all these people I've never seen before and they're all gathered around this grave. I remember seeing on the gravestone the words 'Sora Kai Akela'. I know that's not his middle name, but for some reason, that's what was written there and for some reason, I knew it was his anyway. I kept trying to look over into the casket, but this guy wouldn't let me and he kept pulling me back." A pause; she turned to Axel. "I can't remember, but it was probably you. You were always the jealous, stingy, bitchy type, anyway."

Axel said nothing.

"In any case," she continued once more. "I'm kind of in awe, because it's like I had just realized that he was dead. I take a few steps back and I'm in pure denial because I can't believe that he's dead. And then, all of sudden, Sora appears beside me and he asks me 'what's wrong?' and I just break down and start crying into his shoulder. And I told him, 'it's because I never got to tell you'… and then I get this random flashback with my dad at the beach when I was seven. … and then I woke up."

Axel said nothing.

Kairi sighed and held a hand to her forehead. "Maybe I am sick…"

"Or maybe you just like him?"

Kairi jumped a little and clutched onto the covers by her knees as Axel slowly blinked and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. His hair was definitely ten times puffier when he sat up, and as much as she felt like petting it as she normally would, she couldn't help but feel deep resentment towards him. "What?" she snapped at him, bitterly.

He shrugged. "Maybe you just like him. Go figure." He slowly got to his feet, massaging his knees in an odd manner. "I should've just woken you up, you know. I need my satin pillows for my hair or else this happens—" at this, he pointed to the frizz sticking out from his head. "—I don't think I can go to work like this…"

"How much did you hear?" she asked sharply, ignoring his random string of complaints. "I mean, did you hear the whole thing or what?"

He headed over to his drawer and pulled out his pocket mirror. "The whole thing." He told her, poking at his hair airily. "Really, Kairi; dreaming about a certain guy usually means as such."

It felt as though a rock was sinking itself in Kairi's throat. Clearly, being around Axel was like extreme death to poodles and was just feeding her negativity, and her headache. She slid off his bed and wandered towards the door, careful to close it behind her. She rushed into the bathroom to freshen up and rub her morning eye bags away, but still Axel's voice lingered in her head. So annoying… what's his problem anyway? She found his door shut just the way she left it, and pushed it open to find him straightening his hair carelessly. "Y-you know," she began, testily. "This is the reason we could never be together; because you always, always, always make me feel like shit every single chance you get."

He looked at her. "…for telling the truth?"

She glared at him.

He smiled at her, and went back to straightening his hair.

Self-righteous, egotistical BASTARD. She ignored him and turned to head downstairs. She wanted another drink; another drink, maybe something to eat—and then, she'd leave. She wasn't supposed to be here anyway. Speaking of which, she'd better call home and tell them she wasn't kidnapped by some foreign alien—named Axel. … God, I hate him! … where's my phone? She got downstairs and spotted her bag by the table. As she reached over to get it, she also noticed something very similar to Sora's keys sitting on the table. It wasn't as if she could accidentally mistake them for someone else's, because no one else had 3 keys and a bajillion key chains. "That doesn't make any sense, though…" she muttered, eyeing the keys oddly. "Why would he leave his keys here… and then leave?" … clearly she wasn't thinking properly.

Just then, Sora wandered over. She stood up instantly and gawked at him, as if this was some odd continuation of her dream from before. It's just after effects… ugh—see? Beer is good for nothing! Though she blamed the alcohol, she still didn't think that she'd be hallucinating. That was just too much. She pinched her arm, cringed, and deduced in all of five seconds that beer in the devil and it kills your ability to think logically.

"Are you sick or something?" he asked her, bluntly.

For once, she shook her head. "Where's Riku?"

"School." Sora shrugged, and then wandered back into the kitchen to his bowl of rice. Kairi hadn't noticed, but he'd been there the whole time, observing her observing his car keys. "He says he'll be back around 2, but I don't know why he told me that since I'll probably be gone by then." He gave another careless shrug and proceeded to stuff his face with rice.

Kairi, who suddenly forgot that she wanted a drink and a ride home, collapsed on Riku's sofa, clutching her bag tightly. Everything about this morning was making her nauseous. She wasn't taking too well to the fact that there was more than one person running around who knew her not-so-secret secret. It was like a bad movie this time. She would just hope that she could go to bed and wake up the next day, without having to live through all this again. So what if she knew the truth? That was enough, right? She didn't need to tell him or anything. I mean—what would he need with that useless piece of information? If she told him that she kind of, almost, barely even liked him… or even that, yes, she was terribly jealous of Olette… there wouldn't be an apocalypse, or even anything close. Therefore, she deduced that useless information should be kept secret because it is useless and to alter its categorization wouldn't bring any good fortune to anyone—

"Where's Axel?"

She looked up at him with a raised eyebrow. She hadn't really expected him to say anything, let alone ask anything about Axel. She replied, "Upstairs. How come?"

He shook his head, "Just curious."

She looked at him, confusion blatantly painted across her features.

He ignored her, and cleared his throat, "Roxas has been calling for you all this morning." And suddenly, from the depths of his pocket, he pulled out Kairi's phone, complete with the paopu fruit strap. He flipped it open and began to peruse through the messages while wandering over to her with it. "I didn't actually pay attention to what he was telling me, but I figured after the first call, he'd assume you weren't there and would stop calling." He sighed, and dropped down in the seat beside her. She glared at him, none too inconspicuously, as he poked avidly at her phone. He appeared to notice and handed the phone back to her.

"Thank you—" she murmured, clasping the phone. Just as she was browsing her caller ID—there were at least five 'R. Lydmann's between then and nine in the morning, which was of course only a two-hour span—Sora swung his legs up on the sofa and rested his head comfortably on her lap. He, of course, found nothing wrong with this, but she was as tense as humanly possible. She completely froze. … what is wrong with you? Stop being weird!

"You should probably call him back or something." He told her absently, glancing up at her a moment.

She looked at him and then towards her phone, with a heavy, burdened sigh. "Maybe…"

"Or," he continued, just as nonchalant. He was doing an excellent job of concealing just how annoyed he was about this whole 'Roxas' thing—"You don't have to call him back; I bet whatever he has to say isn't so important anyway." …we're never congratulating you on your excellence ever again.

Kairi stared at him, her voice showing hints of annoyance. "… what?"

"Well you can call him if you want..." He replied, and then glanced up at her.

She still retained her annoyed look towards him. "I really don't understand why you don't like him—"

Oh? … neither do I.

"—I mean, if it's because of me, then that shouldn't be a problem; there's absolutely nothing going on between me and Roxas."

What? Oh shit. He looked at her. "T-that's not it."

She smiled, and brushed a stray strand of hair from her eyes. "Don't be silly, yes it is."

He ignored her and occupied himself staring ahead at the wall. This is crazy. I mean—what the hell? What would give her the idea that I don't like Roxas? How did this all go so wrong so fast? What the hell?

"I'm not going out with him." She said.

why would she just randomly tell me that? It's not like I asked, right? … go on, say it. "I know." He replied, timidly. I'm sick of coaching you.

Silence.

And then:

"Can I… tell you something?" Her voice was soft and very distant. She was even surprised that she even said anything. It wasn't too late to randomly say 'actually, never mind', and then forget about it… right. She would tell him to forget she even said anything, and then she could go home and—

"Sure. What is it?"

damn it. She cleared her throat and took a deep, shaky, nervous breath. Would you calm down? This is not a confessional! You're acting as if you never talked to him before— "Um… okay, this is probably gonna take a while, so… just shut up for awhile, okay?"

He raised a confused eyebrow at her, and replied, "Okay…?"

"Okay." She nodded, slowly. … where to begin…? … what were you going to tell him anyway? "Oh! Right, okay… w-well… I actually was really, really jealous of you and Olette at a time. And I think… I think that was the only reason I went out with Axel."

"What was that about me?"

She snapped her attention towards the doorway where Axel was standing, now fully-clothed and hair fully-straightened. He raised an eloquent eyebrow at her, and then let his eyes slide back and forth between her…and Sora… on her lap. "… something going on?" he asked.

"No!" she snapped at him. "What—why are you still here?"

"I live here—"

"Whatever—just—go away, okay?"

"Sure—but if Riku comes back, tell him—"

"—tell him that you went to work, I know!"

"—and that after, I'm going—"

"—you're gonna go see your girlfriend—yes, I know, okay!"

"… okay." He gave her a short wave and then headed to the door. "See you later—bye Sora."

"Uh, bye." Sora mumbled back. Once he heard the door shut, he glanced up at Kairi again, ever-so-innocently, and told her, "I'm… listening… you can continue."

"Okay, well," Kairi scoffed, crossing her arms in a nonchalant manner. Where was I…? Oh my God, I'm forgetting! Oh my God I don't wanna do this anymooooore— "It almost seemed like you were ignoring me, which is why I got so attached to Axel. I know it's weird, but I've never really been outwardly ignored before. But I'm not stupid; I know you were kinda pissed off that I spent so much time with Axel… I dunno… it made me happy to know that you were miserable."

Sora gawked at her. "What—"

"I told you no talking." She smiled, giving him an affectionate pat on the head. He glared at her. She grinned. "You and Axel seemed too much alike though… kinda weirded me out for awhile. I think the only difference between the two of you was that… he was a manipulative jerk and it bothered me, whereas you are a manipulative jerk and I can forgive you…" she cleared her throat. "It's weird how the world works."

"Kairi, what—"

"Shush."

"But—"

"Shush, please?"

"Okay, but Kairi—"

"But then, I told myself," she continued, blatantly ignoring him. She'd be able to leave sooner if she just pretended she was talking to herself. That would have to suffice for now. "I said… why is it that I don't care if you're such a bitch to me, but with anyone else, it bothers me…? I assumed it was just because I knew you longer than I knew him… but even if… it got to the point where it was like, 'okay, he could abuse me like this, and I wouldn't care because I like him'—" She sighed, and said nothing more. For some reason, she couldn't bring herself to say anything else… she would've given anything to start talking again, but her jaw was frozen and her mind, in such a state that everything just stopped the way it was.

Sora quickly sat up and swung his feet over to meet the floor. He didn't look anything short of puzzled, and in fact seemed as though he was on the brink of words but refused to speak. She almost wished he would say something, but whatever part of her that was left sane was dreading him saying anything. It was like a slow and painful death for her.

And yet still, Sora wouldn't speak.

Well why not? She bit down on her bottom lip, nervously. Is he serious? He has absolutely nothing to say to me? What the hell? … well, come on, Kairi, let's be honest here: were you hoping for a response? Was that really the point of this exercise?

She glanced at him.

He glanced at her—and slowly sunk deeper into the sofa.

"Oh, come on, say something." She whined with a pout, her auburn hair falling delicately towards her eye.

"Well, like what…?" He stuttered, nervously.

Oh God—I don't know! "Anything. A-anything's fine."

Anything's fine? Is she trying to kill me? … He shrugged.

He's shrugging at me. I don't believe it. "You have nothing to say to me… at all?" she asked him, raising an eloquent eyebrow in inquisition.

"Well, that's not—uh…" Anything, she says? "…well, I was never a bitch to you on purpose."

"Tch, I know." She rolled her eyes.

I will never understand women, ever. "… and—and I think it's… interesting." He told her.

"Interesting…?"

"Y-yes."

"You think I'm interesting? Is that it?"

"… yes."

"What?"

"It's just—well, I was thinking, and—" Why would she tell me that? Why? Why now, when everything's seemingly neutral? I mean—I can ignore the fact that she was probably upstairs with Axel this whole time… well, I can try. "—it's… just interesting that you'd… tell me that, that's all." I don't think you're seeing eye-to-eye with me anymore.

She sighed, crossing her arms and sinking deeper into the sofa as well. "Interesting, he says…" she muttered, absently. "Interesting, interesting, interesting…"

He cleared his throat, causing her to jump a little. "So. Aren't you gonna recite the generic speech—how you hope this isn't gonna destroy our friendship and stuff?" he gave her a sideways glance and she quickly sat straight again, her eyes mirroring clarity much gracefully than they had before. "What?" he asked. "You actually have one?"

"No." she told him, turning to face him slowly. "N-no, I don't… I didn't prepare one of those because I know we're not going out or anything… you told me you didn't want a girlfriend, I didn't waste my time writing a speech: everyone wins."

Her voice had a certain underhand tone, which, of course, he noticed.

But those are the best types of speeches. I like hearing them. I haven't heard them very often, and if I did, that'd just be weird since the majority of the people I know are guys. … He simply shrugged. "Y-you're right." Are you tripping over your words? What's wrong with you? This is not the time!

"Question." Kairi began, loftily. She smiled at him. "Why is it so interesting that I would tell you all this?"

He looked at her. She was on the verge of giggles and her eyes had a faint, but very distinct glint about them. "… well." She's screwing with my head; I know it. "I told you… it just is. It's just—coincidental, almost."

"Coincidental?" Kairi gasped. "Is—is that why it's interesting?"

He had to laugh. He had no idea why. Things had an annoyingly ironic way of turning out; that's all. "Kai, what are you even talking about?"

She ignored him. "It is, isn't it—because—because you were gonna tell me the exact same thing, weren't you?" she was beaming now; positively radiant.

His smile faded slowly. She's twisting my words and I like it. What's wrong with me? "Uh, no." he said, loftily. "Okay, you realize that only happens in movies and, you know, other creepy scenarios that don't ever happen in real life."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Well then what were you thinking before, when I was babbling to my heart's content?" A pause. "…well, Riku's… content, really."

"Riku?"

Yes, Riku. "Just… answer the question." She sighed, offhandedly. She kept subconsciously looking towards the doorway. If Riku did happen to pop back in that exact second, it would seem too much like—

"'Well at least it's not Roxas'… 'or someone else'." Sora told her, nonchalantly, as if five seconds ago this whole ordeal wasn't 'really creepy'. It sounded better when you were thinking it. Definitely.

"… what?" she mumbled.

He glanced at her momentarily and gave another shrug. "Well," he repeated slowly. "… well—I don't know, at least it's not Roxas… okay. I remember last time when I asked you who was more important to you—out of sheer curiosity… and you never told me." He turned to look at her.

She was in awe; confused, frustrated—and yet in awe at the same time. "That's it? That's all you're concerned about?" she asked, incredulously. "After all that and after everything I told you, there's just no way that you could be thinking about Roxas!"

"Don't say it like that; you make me sound gay."

"Roxas? Are you kidding me?" she laughed. "I'm amused. Is—did you really not like him that much?"

Sora ignored her, as she seemed to be gushing with satire, and continued with his homily. "I have nothing against him, actually…" he nodded. "Well, it just didn't make sense why everyone was all in love with Roxas, because… that didn't need to happen." A pause. "But, uh, really—but I'm just happy it's not him."

"Whatever that means."

"Of course."

Kairi rolled her eyes. Stubborn, stubborn child.

Quite hesitantly… she leaned closer towards him… and delicately pressed her lips against his. She softly shut her eyes… slowly… and suddenly, all she could see was her black wedding dress by the beach.

Wait a second, what the hell! If this wasn't such a crucial moment, Sora would've slapped himself. This was no time to be in deep thought—in deep reflection over the current situation. This was no time to be thinking at all—Are you kidding me? You're making out with your best friend and you're SOBER? Uh—no, things just don't happen like that, okay. Do you understand how this makes no sense at all? Do you? … ugh, Jesus Christ.

Well.

In the midst of Sora's ever-so-analytical thinking…

He kissed her back.

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The ending for this was exceptionally hard to write, because as sappy as I wanted to make it, I couldn't XD;; is a sap for romance fics . ;; If it was too sappy, it would just kill the overall mood of the story. And that would suck. XD;; Considering this wasn't really a sappy story, excessive sap in the last chapter would be… really cheesy… . ;; Plus, the mood of this story is something I really like and if I killed it, I would never forgive myself. The end. :D

Anyway. :D Thanks so much to everyone who left a review since chapter 1:D I do look over them all, and I really, really appreciate it :D Um. Yes. I love you all. :D

By the by... and I figure I should mention this now, since it seems to be freaking out a lot of people XD: I'm in love with ambiguous endings. So sorry if you aren't. :D

-lulu