He got up from his place near the door, and immediately a cold wind swept in from under it Kairi shivered, wondering if he'd only been sitting in that spot for her benefit. She grit her teeth, why was it so hard to be angry with him?

"Is your chilli cold? Probably is...I'll see if I can heat it up..." He took her can and headed towards the shabby little kitchen, purposely avoiding her eyes. She was hot on his heels, his sweetness from before forgotten.

"Sora." He turned up the flame on the not so safe looking stove, bits of rust falling to the floor as he turned the knob with a little too much force. "Sora." She was on the edge of raising her voice, but she reigned herself in. "Why are you acting this way?" He continued to hold the can with his bare hands over the high flame.

"I...Acting what way?" Kairi narrowed her eyes.

"Evasive, tricky, suspicious...I could go on Sora. But you know, now you're acting like...like..like a big jerk." Kairi was slightly red in the face. This was not how she pictured their reunion if it were to ever happen. Kairi was about to say something else but then a thin whine intercepted her. It started to get higher in pitch, and she wondered what it possibly could be. But once realization dawned it was too late. "Sora don't...!" That was a loud pop, and Kairi was rushing forward. Sora was stumbling back and the can fell to the floor looking like a metal scrap.

She pushed him to the sink and yanked on the tap. The water that came out was brown and disgusting but she pushed his head under the water anyway, Sora still clearly speechless. He sputtered and gasped for air under the brown stream, the air shocked right out of him. Pretty soon he knew he'd be feeling the searing beans burning his face. He felt like such an idiot.

Kairi kept on running her hand through his hair, in an attempt to comfort him. He wasn't over the shock and the pain enough to think about how he'd just been manhandled, but as she stroked his head, he felt her ring dragging across his scalp, a hard interruption of the soft skin of her hand. He bit his lip, trying to raise his head.

"I'm fine now, you can stop."

"No you're not. Just stay under there, the cold water might be a bit much but we have to get those off of your face or the burns will be worse." she said watching the beans wash off of his face an into the sink. She sighed. "Honestly Sora, don't you know better than that?" He thought she might be smiling, but when he turned his head to the side he could see she wasn't.

"I know, I'm an idiot." His voice echoed all around him off of the metal of the sink.

"No, I think I said jerk. You're a jerk." she smiled to herself then, and continued to hold his head under the stream. He slumped, some of the water trailing form his face to his neck down into his shirt.

"I know that too." he said. After about another minute he spoke up again. "Hey, do you think you could stop drowning me?" She turned the water off and he stood up, shaking his head like a dog, much to the displeasure of Kairi, who was directly in his line of fire. She wiped the water from her face rather frantically, and watched him through her messed up hair. He apologized and tried not to smile. She was still insanely cute. Even as a grown woman. The expression on her face softened.

"Now Sora, please tell me what's going on?" she looked so concerned, and even came forward to take his face into her hands, fussing over the burns. He was sure in a week he'd be just fine. He flinched when she touched his face and she immediately took them away, apologizing. "You're skin must be raw."

"Ye..yeah that's it..." She crossed her arms.

"But you know, if you had just answered the question you wouldn't be all burned up."

"I think I should dry..." Kairi blocked the door.

"Oh no you don't." Sora clenched his teeth.

"Kairi, can't you just leave it alone?" She frowned.

"Leave it alone?" She tapped her fingers on the inside of the doorway. "Because it's so easy isn't it?"

"Listen, I just want to protect-"

"I don't need you to protect me anymore!" she raised her voice, and they were both surprised. He frowned, he didn't like that she would say something like that after everything, and despite himself, he hated that it might be true. He turned his back to her.

"You're right." she bit her lip at his unexpected response. "Like I said, you don't need me around anymore. I'm not right for any of it, you know?" She didn't know what he was talking about. "I have never been right for it." He laughed. "What am I talking about?! I'm sorry Kai."


"I went alone because, I didn't want to involve you guys anymore okay? Is that good enough?" Kairi was kind of thrown off by the sudden duality she'd never seen so extreme in Sora before.

"No, no it's not." she touched his back and again he flinched. "What happened to you Sora?" he exhaled.

"Kairi, light doesn't just exist, someone has to...I don't know...turn it on. Darkness is a little different. No matter what, it will always be there, in the absence of the light. Darkness is, if you think about it...the most natural thing in the world. There is no escape, and no way to fix that. It's like trying to escape the sun or something." He stopped. "Haha." Kairi was wary. "Funny thing is, I bet you and Riku and everyone and their mother knew that, or realized that at some point or another. But not me. I believed I could make it go away, mighty wielder of the keyblade that I am..." he laughed. "...it's bullshit."

Kairi blinked.

"Sora, I..."

"If I could do it again, I would still do it the same way. I will never drag my friends into a mess like that again. Never."

"Don't pretend like you're doing us some favor." even through her shock she was sticking to her guns. "We would rather have gone with you, and fought by your side than be clueless, be wondering whether you were alive or dead, or worse! It's our world too and if we can fight for it then we will." She looked at his back. "We can you know. You're so used to saving me, you forget that I'm strong too." It felt like something she'd wanted to say for a long time, and at the same time it felt like such a lie. Because she was used to it too, and even now he was saving her in some way or another. "There was no reason for you to go into it alone. So don't think you're sparing me anything, you and I had our destinies written before we could even know what they would mean. And as long as your journey continues, so does mine."

He turned around.

"You don't understand." he ruffled his hair, as he often did when he was frustrated. "Things have changed." She licked her dry lips.

"Exactly. That's exactly what I'm saying Sora. We have all changed. And Riku..." Sora looked up, his eyes wide.

"How is he?"

"Healing." Kairi looked away, trying to keep her composure. "Do you know what you've done, by just leaving? Do you?" Sora looked incredibly guilty. "It got really bad Sora, really bad. Things would have been so much better if you had trusted us. They would have been better for all of us, we could have protected eachother."

"It's not that easy." he said, his cheeks burning.

"It is never easy Sora. We all know that." Kairi looked into his eyes. "Oh, Sora. did it really take me harassing you, chasing you through the snow and a can of beans exploding in your face for you to just talk to me?"

"I guess so." Kairi knew there was a lot he still wasn't telling her, but decided it was enough for now. She hoped she had gotten her point across.

"You should go see Riku." Sora snapped his head up.

"No. I'm sorry Kairi, but I can't. It's best that I don't."

"Sora, I'm not playing around with you." she shook her finger at him, and he was reminded of his mother. His mother, it had been an eternity since he'd seen her.

"You don't get it Kai." he touched her face, ignored the heat he felt in his hands and in his stomach. "I ca-" she covered his mouth with her hand.

"Just shut up okay?" she laughed. "I never seen you be so hard on yourself and simultaneously ridiculous." She jumped when he softly bit her hand. She's nearly forgotten Sora was the type to weird things like that. Things that made the air suddenly awkward, things that made him fidgety and strange around her. But that was the past, and maybe this man in front of her was different, maybe he was surer of himself. But as he let her hand drop back down to her side, she could see that he wasn't. Sora's eyes darted around for an explanation, and she got up on her toes and gave him one, like she hadn't just kissed Riku some hours earlier, like his ring wasn't currently sparkling on her finger. Kairi covered his mouth with hers, and he started to kiss her back, as if it were the only natural option, but then he stopped.

"Kairi, no." His mouth said no but one of his fingers was moving in lazy circles on the bare skin of her lower back underneath her shirt. It excited her in a way she knew it shouldn't. It excited her to think that they could be back on the shore again, in the midst of a relationship clearly in bloom.

His hand moved higher, and he watched her with deadly serious eyes, strangely bright under their hungry shadows, like the heartless that still haunted so many dreams.

"It's not a good a idea." Kairi tried to pretend like she didn't feel or like the presence of his hand against her skin. She met his gaze, their breathing nearly in sync. She reach back and put her hand over his, stopping it.

"You're right." It was so hard to stop him, to stop herself from kissing him again. Because something in her realized that if she tried again he would accept her, and things could progress to a potentially dangerous level. She needed to let go of the past, but it was infinitely harder to do that when it suddenly fell into her life again. He nodded and took his hand away.

"Sorry." he said, his voice rough.

"This is going to sound really silly but, in a way I almost feel as if you owe me." They stood flush against each other. "Because back then, it almost seemed as if you were going to kiss me and then always decided not to." From the look on his face she could tell she had hit it right on.

"And I thought I was being cool about it." his smile was lopsided. "Kai, I'm afraid I've missed my chance." he looked old in that moment. " And I feel like maybe I've always been after you for the wrong reasons."


"Trust me okay?" he understood the irony in his words. "Trust me when I ask you to stay away."

"No way. If you think-"

"Hey Sora! Get your ass out here!" Kairi spun around to see the door close and when her eyes settled on the person who closed it, she thought she was dreaming. A familiar head of red hair approached them and she looked at Sora, who was avoiding her eyes like mad. "Hey who's the chick?...Oh fuck."

Kairi watched him enter the kitchen, and for the life of her she couldn't remember his name, even though he'd told her many time to simply memorize it.

(A/N: Thanks for the support guys, I actually managed to get another chapter out! And I hope you all like it. This one is full of stuff, so tell me what you think. Till next time! Adios. I gotta head off to lovely lovely work now. XD)