Let It Snow
Sora wants to give Kairi the ultimate Christmas present…But how, when it involves defying the laws of nature? Rated K Plus for some naughty jokes. Merry Christmas!
A/N: I feel a bit rambly today, so if you just want the one-shot, scroll down to the ruler. Thanks for your time.
Well, I was too much of a lazy bum to get this up before Christmas, so consider this a belated present. Don't you love those? It's like, you think "oh great, we're done," and then some relative pops up with more shiny boxed love! Err, yeah. Plus, technically, it's still the Christmas season anyway. Okay, I'm done making my excuses—on to the holiday goodness.
Once again, I am bartering all of my principles and ignoring all the values I hold dear. Yes, it's a SoKai. Riku…I am sorry. (For the record, I am apologizing for not putting Riku with Kairi. Kaiii-riiii. Now go away. Oh, and KEEP THE OLD SCHOOL LOVE ALIVE! –Kairiku cult motto)
Disclaimer: I've been asking Santa for years, and I still do not own the rights to Kingdom Hearts and any affiliated yadda yadda yadda, nor do I own the lyrics to Animal I Have Become, by Three Days Grace. You didn't think you'd get through a one-shot without me quoting a song, did you? You fool.
"Hey, Sora!" Kairi said excitedly. "You'll never guess what I got you for Christmas!" The three amigos were walking home from the mall the day before Christmas. Kairi had tinsel braided into her hair, and Sora and Riku were wearing matching Santa hats. Aww. It was going to be their first Christmas together in almost two years, and they planned to make it a night to remember.
"Umm..." Sora wondered, shifting his grip on his stack of presents so he could scratch his head with one hand. "I dunno, Kairi, don't spoil the surprise for me…"
"Is it a pair of shoes bigger than his face?" Riku quipped, smirking over the top of his own huge stack of packages.
"Yeah, so I can kick your butt to Hollow Bastion without using a gummi ship," Sora retorted as Kairi giggled.
Riku put one hand over his heart while balancing his purchases with his other arm effortlessly. "Ouch, Sora, you've wounded me. It's the Radiant Garden now, anyway, remember?"
"Oh, you think you're so cool," Sora mocked.
Riku grinned. "I do, thank you. You will, too, when you open your present from me."
"Just as long as it isn't anything pink," Sora said, mentally reliving one year in which Riku had gotten him, as a gag gift, four pairs of pink women's underwear. Sora had tried to retaliate by getting Riku a tutu the next year, but Sora's mother spotted it while he was wrapping it, and put her foot down.
Riku laughed. "Good times..."
"You know what I'd like for Christmas one year?" Kairi asked, almost wistfully. The boys cocked their heads in curiosity. "I'd love...I'd love to see snow," she said. "Real snow, you know, not the fake stuff they put in stores and stuff... I know you guys have seen it, and I'm sure I must have when I was really little, before I came here, but I don't remember what it was like. I'd like to see it again."
"It's the most amazing thing ever, Kairi," Sora told her, grinning. "It's, like, soft and cold and wet all at the same time, and it melts when it hits your tongue—and if it's cold enough, you can see your breath, which is so much fun—and you can make snow angels, and snowmen, and have a snowball fight—"
"And it seeps into your boots, gives you frostbite, slows your movements from the cold, and makes your tracks plainly visible for anyone to see, particularly people you are trying to avoid," Riku interjected, giving Sora a long-suffering look. Sora stuck his tongue out at him.
Kairi shrugged. "Well, maybe someday. Who's up for hot cocoa at my house?"
"Me!" the two of them said in unison. Sora raised his hand and waved it frantically, knocking the present at the top of his stack plummeting. Riku caught it an inch from the ground. Kairi grinned. "Race you!" she shouted, dashing on ahead.
"No way! We're the ones carrying all the loot!" Riku objected. Kairi laughed. "Fine! I'll go get it started!" she called back.
That important bit of...importance out of the way, Riku turned to Sora. "Okay, spill," he demanded.
"Spill...what?" Sora asked, clearly rather confused.
"You've got something on your mind; I can tell. Now, spill. I'm curious," Riku ordered.
Sora rolled his eyes. "What are you, my mother?"
"Okay," Sora said, seemingly satisfied with Riku's sarcastic reply. He stared off wistfully the way Kairi had gone. "I, uh...I really want to give Kairi something extra special this year."
Riku raised an eyebrow. "Don't we all," he dryly observed.
"Well, you know, in all...what with the...you know, and everything...It's kinda..." Sora awkwardly stammered, until he saw that Riku was silently laughing. "You don't have to explain anything," he said, clapping Sora on the shoulder. "So what were you thinking about getting her?"
Sora shifted uneasily. "Well, since it means so much to her...I'd like to take her to see snow, somehow."
Riku blew a strand of hair out of his face and sighed. "Yeah, but the King told us specifically not to use the gummi ship except in extreme and dire circumstances. Now that the worlds are at peace, we have no excuse to disrupt world order."
Sora raised a questioning eyebrow. "Look who the good kid is now," he remarked.
"Look who's complaining," Riku pointed out.
"Point," Sora conceded. "So...now what do I do?" There was a thoughtful silence. "Oh, I'm an idiot," Sora suddenly realized.
"What makes you say that?" Riku asked. "Not that I'm contradicting you, by the way."
Sora poked Riku hard in the ribs with his free hand (making Riku only grin all the more), and explained, "All I have to do is ask Santa. I'm pretty sure he owes me a favor."
The smug grin on Riku's face faded. "...Sora?" he asked, almost seeming genuinely concerned, "Didn't we have this conversation already? Like...eight years ago?"
"Yes, we did," Sora said. "And it turned out to be a huge blemish on my record, and I've vowed not to have one like it again. I'm going to ask Santa to make it snow for Kairi,"
Sora clapped his free hand over the ear closest to Riku and shouted, "I'm not listening to your lies!" That earned a few curious looks from passers-by. Riku shushed him.
"All right, Sora, let's assume for the sake of argument that Santa does exist, and he does get all over the world in one night, ignoring all laws of physics and time," he said. "Even then, do you really think that he has the power to make it snow in the tropics? Even if he did, would he? And if he did create a blizzard here, don't you think that there would be a massive and drastic affect on global climate and local ecosystems?"
Sora's lower lip stuck out in a stubborn pout. "He can, and he will. Santa's been around—he can figure it out. Just to prove it, I'll ask him to get you a present, too. Then you'll see."
"Sora, as flattered as I am to be considered, if Santa does exist, I think I've racked up enough points to have my name pre-printed at the top of the 'naughty' list for the next decade, if not longer." Riku gave a grin that was a mixture of smug and sheepish, if such a grin existed (and if it didn't, he had just invented it). "Don't worry about me."
"Of course I'm going to worry about you—I always do," Sora admonished. "You're going to send me into a stress-related heart attack one day, and I'll die, and then you won't have anyone to keep you out of trouble." Aww.
Riku paused, as if to consider this statement. He rubbed his chin with his free hand. "Hmm..." he drawled. Then, he flicked Sora on the forehead and dashed forward, laughing, "Last one to Kairi's house does the dishes!"
Sora, momentarily stunned, started after him, shouting, "No fair! Cheating isn't going to get you on the nice list, buddy!" All he got from Riku was a derisive raspberry. "Grinch!" he added.
After Kairi's adopted parents, the mayor and his wife, had walked in on the three of them while Sora and Riku were competing in a "how-many-marshmallows-can-I-stuff-in-my-mouth-at-once?" contest, there was a unanimous decision to move the Christmas festivities to Riku's house.
Funny story about Riku's house: When he had gotten back, he found out that in his absence, his mother had married a rich jerk that Riku, if he had been there, would certainly have taken exception to. The man owned a string of seaside condominiums and had wanted to build one on the small island where Sora, Riku, and Kairi had always hung out. After one hour scouting out the land, he rowed into shore white, shaking, and raving about ghosts and voices in caves. He ran off, leaving his company in the hands of Riku's mother, and moved into a gated community thousands of miles away in the mountains.
Riku's mother ended up getting filthy rich and moving to Vegas. She left one lone condo in the care of her half-sister, who luckily happened to be Riku's favorite aunt. She let him stay in the house with minimal supervision.
That interesting anecdote over, Kairi was curled up in an armchair, reading from "The Night Before Christmas." Sora was sprawled out on the couch, his head close to Kairi's arm. Riku was lying on the floor—not from lack of space or furniture, but simple unuse to sleeping on a bed or anything bed-like after so long on the road. Their small Christmas tree stood in the corner by the picture window, decorated with strands of lights, strings of half-eaten popcorn, a few extra keychains donated by Sora, and topped with a paopu fruit for a star.
"And I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight," she read. "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" On the word "night," she booped Sora on the nose. Sora grinned widely and innocently. Riku rolled his eyes, but couldn't hide a small smile. Aww. Kairi glanced at the clock and stifled a yawn. "Well, good night, you two. Riku, are you sure your aunt isn't going to walk in on us?"
"Andrea loves me," Riku said simply. "When I told her we were holing up in here for Christmas Eve, she thought it was the cutest thing she had ever heard."
"Okay," she responded, and rolled over, pulling her blanket with her. "Good night."
"Good night," Sora said, shifting on the couch.
"Night," Riku grunted, curling up on the carpet and using his forearms as a pillow. It was astonishing how comfortable he made it look. It also should be noted that both he and Sora were still wearing their Santa hats.
A small draft blew across Sora's face, jolting him from semi-sleep to full awareness. He cracked one eyelid open and leaned up ever so slightly. Someone was standing in front of the tree—the draft came from the slightly open window that the person had obviously climbed through.
Growing excited, Sora summoned the Keyblade, making sure to keep it squeezed between the couch cushions so the light didn't alert the stranger. He edged the tip up carefully, and with a tiny beam of light, locked the window.
The click alerted the stranger. He glanced at the window, turned back to his work, and then paused and scrutinized the lock more carefully. He sighed, and turned around to face Sora. "You know, kid," he said, "you're supposed to be asleep."
Sora sat up straight, grinning without shame. "It's good to..." he began, but stopped suspiciously. "You're not Santa," he accused. Yes, the man was clad in red, tall, broad, and jolly, with a white beard and a large bag, but Sora did not recognize him from Christmas Town.
"Yes, yes I am," the large red man corrected.
"No, you're not! I have never seen you before!" Sora accused, remembering to keep his voice down for the sake of his friends and their sleep.
"Well, kid," the big man chuckled, "I hope you didn't think that there was only one Santa for the countless, myriad worlds out there."
Sora opened his mouth to reply, found he had none, and shut it. "Oh. That makes sense."
"Yes, Sora, I'm the Santa Claus for your world," the stranger chuckled. "We all keep in touch, though, and I've heard a great deal about you from my counterpart back in Christmas Town. He had much to say about you, all of it reasonably positive. You've been given a greater gift than I could ever have brought: a great destiny, a loving heart, and..." He trailed off when he realized that Sora's eyes had begun to glaze over slightly. "You sick and tired of hearing this, aren't you," Santa said, not a question.
"Well...I am a disaffected fifteen-year-old now," Sora admitted.
Santa smiled wryly. "Right, I forgot how rotten you kids get at this age."
"I resent that!"
"Shh," Santa shushed him. "So, what do you need? I'm on a very tight schedule, you know."
Sora sat up straighter. "Yeah, see, the thing is, I wanted to get Kairi something really amazing for Christmas, but I don't know how to do it... Do you think you could...Is it possible...Could you make it snow...here...tomorrow...for her?"
Santa gave Sora a thunderstruck look. "Make it snow? Is it possible? Tomorrow??"
"Yeah, I guess you—"
"Of course it's possible! Do you know who I am??" Santa raged. Obviously, he was highly affronted at the idea that he might not be able to pull it off. Sora was about to apologize, but he heard a rustling coming from the general direction of the floor.
Riku was moving. "Quiet!" Sora hissed, silencing Santa. "He's saying something!" Riku was indeed saying something.
"It...It, it was..." he mumbled. Sora and Santa held their breath...
After a moment that felt like forever, Riku muttered, "Soap...poisoning..." and rolled over all the way, facing away from the two of them.
Sora and Santa waited a little longer, until they heard Riku begin to snore softly. "So, what on earth gave you the ridiculous notion that snow in the tropics might be beyond me?" Santa demanded, wanting satisfaction for his bruised ego.
"Well, Riku started blathering on about weather patterns and laws of time and physics and whatnot..."
Santa chuckled. "Sora, do you remember when Riku told you I didn't exist?"
"And when he convinced you and Kairi that interstellar travel was possible—using a raft?"
"In his defense—"
"Not to mention," Santa rolled right over him, "the time he told you that 'condoms' was just a fancy word for 'ketchup and mustard'..."
"Oh, yeahh," Sora said, remembering. That hadn't been a good conversation with his parents the night he'd said "please pass the condoms". "He did say that..."
Santa's eyes twinkled. "So, what can we conclude from this evidence?" he prompted.
Sora scratched his head. "That..." he slowly guessed, "...Riku is...full of...baloney?"
Santa grinned. "You got it," he laughed.
"Okay, fair enough," Sora conceded. "But he means well. I told him that I'd get him a present from you to prove your existence."
Santa scowled. "You shouldn't make hasty promises, kid," he reproved Sora. "There are rules."
"Like what?" Sora innocently asked.
"Like...he has to be on the nice list, for one." Santa realized his mistake as soon as he said it, for Sora's face suddenly fell and smashed into a thousand pieces on the floor.
"He's...not?" Sora looked crestfallen. "But..."
Santa sighed, and pulled a roll of paper from his pocket. "Let's see...Rachel, Reggie, Richard, Ronald, Ruby...Sorry, kid, that's the whole nice list." Suddenly though, something seemed to occur to him. "Wait a minute, that can't be right...I clearly and distinctly remember taking him off the naughty list last year."
"So...where is he?" Sora asked, confused. Santa patted his pockets, muttering something like "now where did I put it...?" and then triumphantly produced a 4"x8" notecard. "Right here," Santa said, pointing to the very short list of names. "Miscellaneous."
"You should be proud of him. Not many kids make it off the naughty list once they get on. I remember this kid, Bobby Gray from Dakota..." Santa trailed off, reminiscing. Suddenly, his task came back to him with a jolt. "Hey, what am I doing? I have to get going!" He pulled a small, silver box from his bag. "Give this to Kairi tomorrow morning. You'll get your snowstorm. As for Riku..." Santa shrugged. "I don't know what to tell you."
Sora suddenly gained an evil gleam in his eyes. "How about a compromise?" He leaned forward and whispered in Santa's ear. Santa's eyes widened.
"That's...that's a bit extreme," he said.
Sora grinned. "I couldn't let him get away with that condoms thing."
Santa smiled, pulled another box out of his bag, set it under the tree, and turned to go. "You know, Sora," he chuckled, "you're a good kid."
"Sora, you lazy bum, wake up." Sora grinned and opened his eyes to see Kairi hovering over him. "It's Christmas!" she announced, poking him. "You're usually the first one up!"
"Yeah, at 4:30 in the morning," Riku added. "Now start opening." He tossed a long rectangular package at Sora and added, "I have been dying to see your face."
Sora stuck his tongue out, but ripped it open to find... "A skateboard!" he shouted with delight. "FLIPPING SWEET!" Riku grinned. "I thought you'd like that," he chuckled. Sora threw him his own present and told him, "Mine pales in comparison, I guess..."
Riku opened his own present to find... "Awesome! Three Days Grace!" he gasped. "Do you have any idea how much I have missed this music??" Without waiting for Sora to answer his rhetorical question, he popped the CD in the stereo.
"Oh, thanks for the sketchbook, Riku!" Kairi said, waving his present to her in the air, but she saw that he was already air-guitarring along. "I'll just thank him later," she added to Sora. "Here's your present."
Sora opened the box almost reverently. "Aww, a new keychain!" he gasped, holding it up to the light. It was a small, glittery glass star, worked so that it looked like a heart from a certain angle. Kairi blushed.
"I made it in art class last year when you were away," she explained, biting her lip. "It...reminded me of you."
Sora hugged her. "It's beautiful," he whispered. For one moment, their faces were so close...
"SO WHAT IF YOU CAN SEE/ THE DARK INSIDE OF ME??" Riku bawled along to his new music, jolting Sora and Kairi back to the present. "NO ONE WILL EVER CHANGE THIS A-NI-MAL I HAVE BE-COME! HELP ME BELIEVE/ IT'S NOT THE RE-AL ME..."
Kairi gave Sora the "look." "You are going to regret getting him that," she stated flatly, though her eyes sparkled.
Sora threw a pillow at Riku, scoring a direct hit. "Hey, animal!" he called. "I think there's another present for you!" Riku rubbed his head. "You just don't appreciate good music," he grumbled.
There was indeed another box for Riku under the tree. It was medium-sized and square, with a note attached. "To: Riku," he read aloud. "From: The Big Man. You deserved it this year. P.S. Be a good boy, now." The look on his face was one of mixed bemusement and skepticism. He lifted the lid...
"Kairi, is this your idea of a joke?" he asked, sounding as if he really had no idea how to react. He held up...a bright, frilly, sparkly pink tutu.
Kairi, in between spasmodic fits of giggling, replied, "No, my present to you was the indestructible titanium hairbrush."
"It was Santa!" Sora burst out, unable to contain it any longer. In response to Riku's raised eyebrow, he added, "And he got Kairi's present, too!"
Kairi quickly found her silver box and opened it. Inside was a glittery business card. She read it aloud, "This coupon good for one free blizzard, regardless of location or daily forecast, non-refundable or transferable—Sora!" she squealed, hugging him. "You remembered!"
"Not to be the pessimism parade, but that proves nothing, Sora, cute as it is," Riku pointed out. Kairi shot him the "look," and he hastened to add, "What? I'm just being realistic. It's what I do."
"Care to bet?" Sora challenged.
"Sora, if it snows today, I will not only acknowledge the existence of Santa Claus," Riku declared with the security of one who is absolutely certain he is correct, "I will wear his gift to me."
"Deal," Sora said, extending a hand. They shook on it.
For the next half-hour or so, they hung out together. Riku rocked out to his new CD, Sora broke a lamp skateboarding in the house, and Kairi sketched them both, commenting on how they kept moving, darn it. Before they had even considered going out and seeing their other friends, Wakka and Tidus suddenly burst in.
"Guys!" Tidus gasped. "Something's wrong with the sky!"
"...Umm, what?" the three amigos asked in unison, heads cocked to the side.
"Yeah, mon, it's like...the rain...froze, mon," Wakka added. "I didn't know it could do that."
They all dashed outside, where Wakka and Tidus pointed into the sky as big, thick white fluffy flakes were drifting to the ground. "Is it the end of the world?" Tidus moaned. "Are we gonna die??"
Kairi gasped. "Oh...my..."
Sora grinned. "Come on!" he shouted, dragging her along. "I'll show you how to make snow angels...and snowmen...and we can have a snowball fight, and if the waterfall pond freezes, we can ice skate..." He turned around and grinned at Riku. "And don't think I've forgotten our little wager!" he called.
Tidus and Wakka turned and looked at Riku, who was staring into the sky with wide eyes and twitching lips. "No fair," he whimpered. "It isn't even in my size."
They decided they weren't going to ask.
A/N: Happy New Year, everybody!