Chapter 15

Riku's Welcome Home Party…. FINALLY!!

Sora pulled Amanda into a corner away from everyone else and cupped her face in his hands.

"Are you alright?" he asked her, "I know you two grew up together. And I know how close you were."

Amanda covered Sora's hands with her own and nodded, "I'm fine, at least, I will be. The shock is still wearing off, I guess."

Sora nodded and lowered his face to hers. Amanda leaned her head against Sora's shoulder, and he wrapped his arms around her shoulders, enveloping her in a hug.

"Oy! Lovebirds! Come out of the corner!" Riku called.

Sora sighed and kissed Amanda's temple, then led her back into the rest of the room. All the furniture had been shoved against the walls and Riku and Roxas were laying out a plastic sheet with different colored dots painted on it… that's right, folks. The gang is playing Twister!

"Host spins!" Axel cried. Avery, Cloud, and Amanda all looked at each other

"I'll do it," Avery sighed, and picked up the spinner board. Sora, Amanda, Cloud, Olivia, Axel, Roxas, Seifer, and Riku took their spots (pun intended) around mat as Avery called the first command, "Right hand red!"

Everyone scrambled to place their right hand on one of the red dots. Cloud and Sora got out right away because they were too slow.

"Left foot green!" was the next call. The game went on and on, until the last three players left were Seifer, Amanda, and Riku. Seifer had one arm stretched around Riku's waist, one leg twined around Amanda's arms, and his other arm and leg on the same dot. Riku was belly up in a bridge position, his nose even with Seifer's. One of his hands was him helping him balance because he had his elbow bent in a fashion where it centered on his back. One leg was thrown across Amanda's neck, and he was balanced on the tips of his toes so his other arm could stretch across the mat. Amanda was probably in the strangest contortion of all. She was halfway on her side, twisted at the waist. One leg was thrown into the corner and her other one was directly beneath her. One arm was woven between both Riku's and Seifer's legs, and her other one was thrown above her head.

"Left foot blue!" Avery called. Amanda moved her foot, and both Riku and Seifer collapsed. Amanda stood up and looked around.

"I guess Amanda is the winner," Avery said, passing the spinner to Amanda. She took Avery's spot, and Fuu, Rai, Avery, Roxas, Seifer, Riku, Axel, and Olivia took their places at the mat. Amanda called "left foot yellow", and there was a scramble to get to a yellow dot. Olivia and Roxas got eliminated, and the game continued. This round saw Fuu as the victor, and she suggested a punch break.

Everyone crowded around the snack table, filling up on chips, cookies, soda, and punch. Not to mention Full Throttle and Monster. (Oh, hyper teenagers celebrating Christmas and the homecoming of a beloved friend. What a party).

"I would suggest going to the park, but you all know remember what happened last time," Amanda cracked. Everyone laughed and shook their heads.

"We could… watch a movie, play flashlight tag, I don't know," Sora said.

"Hey! Let's watch the Andromeda Strain!" Amanda cried. A few people nodded and she raced upstairs to grab the movie. She came back down through the kitchen and turned the lights off entering the room. Roxas yelped and clutched Axel's arm, and Riku snickered. Amanda snuck around the outer edge of the room and gently grabbed the back of Fuu's neck. She screamed, and Olivia turned on a lamp. Right before the light turned on, Amanda dived behind an arm chair.

Everyone looked around for Amanda, who was crouched on the back of the chair. She launched herself onto Sora's back, knocking him to the ground.

"Amanda, I swear you are some sort of ninja," Sora gasped, staggering to his feet. Amanda smiled sweetly and stood up. She walked over to the DVD player, popped in the discs, and grabbed a huge pile of pillows and blankets to make a bed on the floor. She flopped onto the bed, and Avery grabbed the remote and pressed play. Everyone else grabbed a seat around the room. Fuu and Seifer snagged the big chair Amanda tackled Sora from (I feel the need to mention that Seifer and Kairi broke up), Rai sprawled out on the sofa, Olivia, Cloud, Axel, and Roxas crammed themselves onto the loveseat, and Avery and Riku joined Amanda and Sora on the floor.

The movie started as Olivia reached up and flicked the lamp off. Everyone settled in for the movie… the three hour long movie, I should mention. When the movie ended, it was close to midnight. Avery turned on the lights to reveal the sleeping forms of Riku, Fuu, Rai, Olivia, Cloud, Sora, Axel and Roxas.

"I didn't think the movie was that boring," Amanda commented.

"Oh, Amanda. You know it's not a boring movie. It's late and we've had an exciting day," Avery said. Seifer nodded in agreement.

Amanda shrugged and turned the TV off. Riku shifted in his sleep, his arm reaching out, looking for Avery. She went to sit next to Riku and put her hand in his. Seifer returned to Fuu and promptly fell asleep. Amanda sighed, turned out the lights and laid next to Sora, who slid his arm around her waist.

The next morning at around ten or so, Avery was the first one awake. She stumbled into the kitchen and got down the griddle for her special pancakes. Soon enough, the smell of the blueberry chocolate chip pancakes with strawberry toppings woke up the ten sleeping teens and drew them into the kitchen.

"Amanda or Cloud, could you make some scrambled eggs?" Avery asked, pouring more batter on the griddle. Amanda got out the pan and butter while Cloud started cracking eggs into a bowl. As the stove heated up, Amanda beat the eggs and added salt, pepper and milk. She poured the eggs into the pan and waited for the eggs to scramble. She dished the eggs onto plates while Avery flipped pancakes onto the same plates. Cloud rooted through the fridge and dug out the butter and whipped cream, sending them skittering down the length of the counter. Then he walked over to the pantry and did the same with the peanut butter and syrup. Everyone grabbed a plate and fixed up their breakfast