- CHECKMATE -
a Roxiri story by Jamjari
Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, nor any of its characters.
Pairings: Roxas/Kairi; onesided Kairi/Sora; Sora/?
x Kairi POV x
Over the summer, I volunteered over at the local hospital. It was just something that I thought I ought to do. After all, I was leading a pretty happy life and very content with what I had, while all these people were suffering inside this building.
There was a room I was assigned, and I was the caretaker of the people in that room. It was a pretty easy job, and none of the patients – who varied from little kids to handicapped grandpas – were demanding. The tasks were usually about playing with them, hearing them tell stories from their lives, bringing them food or water, or just talking to them. It was a lively room overall, and most of the people were well enough to tend to themselves.
However, there was one particular boy who was quiet. It wasn't an anti-social type of quiet, though. It was simply the kind of quiet that calmness and tranquility exuded from. The bed he occupied was the one at the corner, next to the window. Since the curtains were always pulled to cover the space, I didn't even know there was a person in that bed until a nurse came over to give him some medication during one of my hours. I figured he didn't want to be bothered. Then one day, I just figured I would go out of my normal routine to greet him. After all, I didn't want to be a stranger to the patients around here.
When I entered, the blond boy was sitting upright on his bed, blue eyes staring. His eyes were really blue, resembling the sea and the sky in all their serenity, just like Sora's eyes. The thing was, this boy's eyes held a bit of sorrow, unlike Sora's ever-happy, shining ones. I guess it was his eyes that drew me to him in the first place, because they reminded me of Sora. Sora, whom I had a crush on. He also happened to be around Sora and my age, too. So I thought I'd try to make friends with him.
Giving a bright grin, I leaned toward his bed, fingers twined at my back. "Nice to meet you…" I eyed the name on the board at the edge of his bed. "…Roxas. I'm Kairi. Sorry for barging in. I volunteer hours here."
"Nice to meet you too." His words were calm and collected, too. Then came the question. "Would you like to play chess with me?"
I blinked. That was out of the blue. Then, smiling, I accepted. "Alright. But I'll warn you, I'm pretty good." I was pretty confident in my skills.
He didn't seem stirred a bit by my words. Instead, he reached over to a suspended rack by him and pulled down a chess board along with the pieces. I drew up a stool and sat on it, and we set up the game board at the edge of the bed.
Wordlessly, we played out a game. He lost.
Then we went for a rematch. He lost.
And again. He lost.
And again. He lost.
He didn't give up. He didn't seem bothered about his losing streak either, he just kept playing. I considered letting him win once on purpose, but I could kind of tell that he was one of those people who would take it as an insult if you let off easy.
Just as we were setting up the pieces for another go, a nurse came in to say that they had to take Roxas away for a scheduled check-up. I nodded, and we exchanged goodbyes as he was taken out of his bed, placed on a wheelchair, and pushed out of the room. I stayed behind and cleaned up.
The next day, I came to the hospital for volunteering again. I visited Roxas at his bed fist thing. He greeted me, and asked, "Would you like to play chess with me?"
I agreed and we set ourselves up just like the day before, before resuming the game. It was like déjà vu. We kept playing and playing, and he kept losing and losing. It was this day that I realized why he was losing. He focused on using the pawns, bishops, and knights, and tried to keep from moving the king, queen, and rooks. Maybe he was afraid of losing them, I don't know. But it always led to his loss in the end.
I didn't mention it, however. I didn't want to be rude and possibly hurt him by telling that his way of playing was a no-go.
This continued for a few more weeks. Everyday, it would be:
"Would you like to play chess with me?"
And he'd lose every single time, because he never changed his plays around.
Then school started. I wasn't able to visit the hospital anymore, because I was so busy with school work. I just stopped going, with no warning. My eyes were set on Sora and Sora alone, because he was the only one who could draw out a true smile from me. I was a bubbly girl full of laughter, giggles, and smiles; but it was just a façade. Sora was the only one who could truly make me laugh.
As time went on, my adoration for Sora grew and grew. One day, I decided to take a chance and ask him out. After all, I was fairly confident, because he was my best friend and all. Oh boy, was I wrong. This was the gist of it:
"Hey Sora?" I asked, playing with my fingers as the two of us sat by a tree after school.
"Hmm?" He replied, tilting his head over toward me with those big, blue eyes of his. The face of the person whom Roxas reminded me of.
I bit my lip, then pressed the words out of my mouth. "Would you… like to go out with me?"
He sat silent for a while. Fear knotted in my stomach, and I tried to explain in a vague fashion. "W-well, we're best friends, and we know each other really well, and I love you… er… more than anyone else… so I wanted to try it out, you know?"
Sora looked down at his lap, before slowly replying, "Well… I like you and all, but... You see, I already have someone." He looked back up, with sincere concern. "I'm sorry, Kairi. And, wouldn't it be better for us to just stay friends?"
"O-oh. That's alright. Y-you're right." I responded, but my voice cracked. I guess Sora couldn't bear seeing me like that, because he stood up immediately saying he had to attend to some things, before leaving.
I was heartbroken.
After two days or so, I decided to go back to the hospital. Helping out others less fortunate than me, I thought, would help bring my spirits back up. Maybe I could forget Sora.
It helped a lot, playing with kids and bringing water to the elderly again. However, my gaze fell more often then not on that secluded bed in the corner, curtained from the rest of the room. Before I knew it, my feet were carrying me over to that section, and moved through the curtains to come face to face with Roxas.
He seemed surprised, brows lifting ever so slightly and eyes widening. For some reason, at first glance, he looked drained, pale, and fragile. But when he looked up at me, and confirmed that he wasn't dreaming by pinching his cheek, that weakness was gone in the blink of an eye, and he looked healthy as ever. I concluded that I must've been hallucinating.
He looked so much like Sora. He reminded me of Sora. Just seeing the boy made my heart ache. I gave him a feeble smile.
"Would you like to play chess with me?"
I was taken back by the question. Then I gave him another smile. Some things never change.
So we settled down, set up the chess board (which I noticed, had collected some dust that we had to wipe off), and started the game. I was expecting to win, expecting him to use the same tactics. But something seemed to have changed, since I suddenly noticed that I was losing. He was switching pieces from move to move, incorporating the queen, the king, and rooks into the play, and when I backed him up into difficult corners, he always found a way out. It was an amazing game, and he had completely crushed me. I sat there, shocked, as he muttered, "Checkmate."
I looked up at him in disbelief, where another surprise was waiting. He had a bright smile on his face, perhaps brighter than Sora's.
"Kairi, sometimes when things don't go your way and you don't win, you have to change ways a bit. Choose another piece, maybe. Because there's plenty of choices on the board."
He must've read my mind, because that was just what I needed to hear. I grinned back at him, despite myself, and my broken heart was mending itself again.
The nurse came in, warmly greeted me, and told Roxas that he had to go see the doctor. I helped her get him into the wheelchair, and muttered to him, "Thank you, Roxas."
He grinned. His smile was so heartwarming, and it made me want to melt. "No problem. When we see each other again, you better bring me some ice cream. I love ice cream."
"Oh, yeah… About that…" I rubbed the back of my neck. "I'm sorry about stopping my hospital visits without telling you. I had school… you know, the works. I won't do it ever again. Sorry."
"I'll come by tomorrow. I promise." I sealed it by hooking my pinky with his, and pressing our thumbs together.
He nodded and smiled again. "I'll be waiting."
I smiled as the nursed pushed him out of the room, and reflected upon the boy's words. He was right. There were a lot of pieces to pick from on the board.
Forget Sora. I had Roxas.
A/N: Kind of random and all, just off the top of my head. This is actually a two-shot. (: And for those who are wondering who Sora is with, you could decide for yourself
I'll get the next part up ASAP. So feedback, please!