What?! Not Avatar?! Oh the humanity!
Yeah I know, shocker. But anyway, I've been a Kingdom Hearts fan for a lot longer than I've been an Avatar fan. This is far past its due, really. And Sora and Kairi are basically the classic perfect couple. How could anyone not absolutely love them?
But I digress, here's the story. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts
"So what's the deal with you two? Are you a couple or not?"
Kairi sighed heavily, the question washing over her for the thousandth time. No matter how many times she gave the same answer, Selphie would still ask the question every time Sora came up in conversation.
"I don't know, Selphie," Kairi said dully. "It's complicated."
She braced herself for the inevitable, sliding into a more comfortable position on the stairs outside of school. It was almost sunset, and with the direction this was going in, she and Selphie could be sitting in front of the empty building long into the warm summer night. It was always the same conversation, and yet her chatty friend insisted upon going through the steps every time, hoping to coax something new out of her.
"Complicated?" Selphie repeated with a smirk. "What's complicated about it? You lost your heart, he fought across the galaxy to save you, he promised to come back to you, you were the first one to remember him, he saved you again, I mean come on." She sighed in a rather exaggerated fashion. "That's a destiny thing you two have going on, and you can't call destiny complicated."
Kairi, chin resting on her hand as her half-lidded gaze fixed itself blearily to the horizon, let the words fall upon deaf ears, or at least ears that weren't really listening. She'd heard it a thousand times. In fact, she could probably just write the whole thing down on flash cards and save Selphie the trouble.
"For the billionth time," Kairi said slowly. "Sora is a complicated person. I am a complicated person. When two such people are thrown together like we are, even a destiny thing can't uncomplicate it." She frowned. "I think." She sighed again. "You know I have no idea whether we're a couple or not."
"Yeah, I know," Selphie said simply. She got to her feet and offered Kairi a hand to help her up. "I'm just waiting for the day you have a good answer."
Kairi scowled at her as she took her hand, brushing herself off hastily and casting her gaze back at the sea. It was tinted red from the sunset, blanketing the entire island in the same hue. And there on the horizon was the hulking figure of the old island where they played as children, the sunset casting it into sharp relief with rosy sunlight on one side and deep shadows on the other. The very same island where the heart of the world lied, where Sora and Riku had washed up nearly a month before. Where it all began, and where it all came back.
"Well, I'm heading home," Selphie said, bringing Kairi crashing back to reality. She blinked a few times and looked at her friend, who was grinning at her. "Have fun with your almost-possibly-it's-complicated-lover."
And she was off toward her house before Kairi could come up with an appropriately scathing reply. So she just sighed and shook her head before making her way down to the docks.
Kairi was careful to walk slowly, wending her way through the quiet town at an easy pace to give her time to think. She was, as Selphie had said, going to meet Sora at the old island. But every time Selphie asked the question, Kairi faced an inner battle against her massive deposits of doubt.
Selphie was right. Sora and Kairi did share a destiny thing, as she put it. And for the longest time, that destiny thing had been her anchor. Even though he was gone for two years, one of which she spent wracked with horrible guilt because she forgot their promise, she knew he would come back. Her faith in him was unshakeable. And she had always assumed that when he came back, he would know how completely, totally, undeniably, head-over-heels, crazy in love with him she was.
But she went to find him. She was captured. He rescued her again. They fought together to the end of all things in a world that was never even there. He came back to her, as promised, on the shores of Destiny Islands. He gave her back the Oathekeeper. All signs were pointing toward their destiny thing. But as the days turned into weeks, it became increasingly apparent that he didn't know. He didn't know how completely-totally-undeniably-head-over-heels-crazy in love she was with him.
That left her a little shaken.
They kept their promise to Roxas and Naminé. They were together every day. Sometimes they spent a whole day together. Other times, like today, they just spent the sunset together. But these days together were spent as friends. The best of friends, but still just friends. That was what left Kairi so doubtful. Sora acted like he was just as in love with her as she was with him. But he never made it clear. He never overstepped the best friend boundaries. And she just couldn't understand why. It had been like this for a month.
She knew he loved her.
Didn't he realize how completely mutual it was?
She thought it was obvious. She sighed, realizing she had reached the dock. Maybe her subtlety wasn't the problem. And that was where the doubt kicked in.
Kairi let out a frustrated groan, scowling at the short dock where all of the canoes were. There were five of them lined up neatly in the shallow water. There was Riku's, Selphie's was next to it, Tidus's and Wakka's were on the other side, and her own was near the end. Sora's was conspicuously absent. He was probably already at the old island.
So Kairi hopped into her canoe and paddled her way out into the calm waters of the evening. Once the tide took her, she relaxed, pulling her paddle in and trailing her fingertips along the surface of the sea. The water was still warm from the hot day, but it was cooling with the setting sun.
It was barely ten minutes until she reached the old island. As expected, Sora's canoe was at the small weather-beaten dock. Kairi quietly followed his footprints through the sand and found him lying on the beach, awash in dusky light. His boots and gloves were in a heap beside him, and his eyes were closed in a peaceful expression. The corners of the mouth turned up in a smile and he cracked open an eye to squint sideways at her.
"Hey Kairi," he said comfortably, closing his eyes again. "You're late."
Kairi smiled. She felt a familiar ache in her chest. He always did this to her. She sat down beside him and kicked off her boots.
"Sorry," she said quietly, lying back on the cool, soft sand beside him. "Selphie kept asking questions."
"Oh, you know… this and that…"
The two of them lapsed into a comfortable silence, watching the stars just barely begin to appear in the dusky sky. Kairi let herself sink into the calm at first, but slowly she felt herself falling further into that awful doubt. This destiny thing clearly needed a little push, and before she knew it, the question had flown right out of her.
"Sora, do you love me?"
The second it escaped her, she froze. Her entire being seemed to cease its movements. Her heart stopped. Her lungs froze. Her atoms stopped vibrating. The icy silence that followed did nothing to help. A few moments later, all the movement and heat within her rushed back and straight to her cheeks. She blushed violently and swallowed hard, refusing to look at him.
"S-sorry, I shouldn't have-" she began shakily, amazed that she had managed to choke the words out, but Sora cut her off with a nervous laugh.
"You sure don't leave much room for subtlety, do you?" he laughed.
Kairi turned toward him worriedly. He was smiling up at the sky. He glanced at her and she blushed again.
"I really admire that about you, Kairi," he said suddenly, smiling at her. She raised an eyebrow, confused. "You always seem so sure." Kairi was still lost, so he continued.
"That day before the heartless came, you remember? You said… 'Don't ever change.' I'll never forget that. You knew that I was good the way I was. You were so sure that you didn't want me to change."
"I still don't," Kairi offered quietly, smiling a little.
He laughed. "Thanks, Kairi… but you're just proving my point. And that same day, you said we should take the raft, just us. You knew Riku had changed. You could tell that the darkness had gotten to him, couldn't you?"
Kairi nodded a little. "I just didn't know what it was then… I wish I had," she sighed.
"Nobody could have predicted what happened to us, Kairi," Sora said quietly. She nodded, urging him to continue with his previous train of thought. "When I found you… and I turned into a heartless to release your heart… you saved me. You knew that it was me. When you gave me the Oathekeeper, you knew I'd bring it back. You were always so sure…"
"Sora…" Kairi murmured.
"But the one thing that really stands out in my memory is when Destiny Islands was finally restored. I told you I'd come back to you… and you said-"
"I know you will," Kairi finished for him with a smile. Sora grinned at her, and she felt her heart flutter.
"Exactly. You knew I'd come back. There was no question. Your faith in me has always been so… unshakeable," he said. "Nobody has ever believed in my like you have."
He sat up, fixing his gaze to the final visible sliver of the sun. Kairi followed suit.
"I know," she said quietly. "I have faith in you because I…" She stopped short. She had to say it. She knew she could. She sighed. "Because I'm in love with you."
Sora turned and smiled at her. "Yeah, I know," he replied.
Kairi's eyes widened. "But then… you don't…" she began.
"No no, I'm in love with you too," he said quickly. Kairi realized several seconds later that her mouth was hanging open and hastily closed it.
"So why haven't you-" she began quickly, finding her voice to be slightly higher than usual.
Sora laughed a little. "Kairi, you have so much faith in me. You're always so sure," he said simply. "I'm not nearly as sure as you. I still get confused and conflicted about all kinds of things. I just don't want to let you down."
This time it was Kairi's turn to laugh. "Sora, you could never disappoint me," she said quietly. "Besides, I'm not always so sure. While you were asleep for a year, I couldn't remember you, but I knew I had forgotten you. I was always so confused... I didn't know what to do."
Sora looked down. "I'm so sorry about that, Kairi…" he muttered.
Kairi laughed again, taking his chin in her hand and tilting his head back up to meet her eyes. "It doesn't matter now, Sora. Now that you're back, I know I'll never feel like that again."
"You're still just proving my point," he sighed, taking hold of her wrist and tugging her hand away from his chin. "You always believe in me… even when you shouldn't."
Kairi didn't miss a beat. She grabbed the hand that was holding her wrist, interlacing her fingers with his and smiling at him.
"Sora, there is never a time when I shouldn't believe in you," she said simply. "Quit doubting yourself. I love you. I want you. You'll never let me down."
"Kairi…" he sighed, though he didn't let go of her hand.
"Sora," Kairi responded, smile never leaving her face. "You can't fight this. We have a destiny thing."
Sora smirked a little in spite of himself. "A destiny thing?" he repeated, quirking an eyebrow.
Kairi scowled at him. "Yes, a destiny thing," she said defensively. Though she smirked right back at him after a few seconds. "I can't think of a better name for it."
"Like a paopu fruit kind of destiny thing?" Sora asked quietly, subconsciously glancing over at the palm tree hanging out over the water.
"Paopu fruit? Ha," Kairi scoffed, grabbing his shoulder with her free hand and pulling him closer. "The paopu fruit story is just a legend. We have a real destiny thing." Sora still just smirked at her. Kairi shrugged. "Selphie can explain it a lot better…"
"So is that what Selphie kept asking questions about? Our destiny thing?" he asked, laughing a little.
"Uh-huh," Kairi replied, giving his shoulder another tug and bringing them nearly nose-to-nose.
"Well wouldn't this give you a fantastic answer for her?" Sora continued slyly, his free hand settling on her waist.
"It most certainly would," Kairi murmured, closing what little distance there was between them. Despite the lack of sunlight in the late evening, Kairi felt heat racing over her skin, originating from every point at which they touched. It was heaven, kissing him. He was gentle and slow, but at the same time she felt hunger within him. Clearly he had been waiting a long time to kiss her, and she was more than happy to oblige.
They had been away from each other for far too long, she decided hazily when she felt his tongue sliding against her lips, prying her mouth open so he could get a better taste. The feeling made her a little light-headed, so she looped an arm around his neck to steady herself and pull him closer. His hands tightened on her waist, pulling her toward him across the sand. Apparently she wasn't close enough, as he kept trying to pull her closer regardless of the fact that she was practically in his lap.
Kairi laughed at his slight desperation, pulling away from him. He moved forward, trying to keep her lips against his, but she stopped him with her fingers. He groaned a little in protest, eliciting another laugh from her.
"Wow," she laughed, trying to catch her breath. "Can I get a second to breathe?"
Sora grinned against her fingers. "Sure," he muttered. "Can you let me talk?"
Kairi just nodded, removing her fingers from his lips. He immediately leaned forward again, kissing her cheek, her jaw, and finding his way down to her neck. It tickled immensely, and Kairi started laughing again.
"Now which one of us is so sure?" she murmured, eyes closing involuntarily as she blushed.
"Still you," he muttered distractedly. "I have no idea what I'm doing."
She gave his chest a shove, disconnecting him from her neck. "Just relax for a second," she laughed, exhausted. He nodded, taking several deep breaths. Kairi smiled at him, realizing for the first time that her heart was racing. Without thinking, she flattened a hand against his chest. He looked at her hand, confused. She smiled a little, feeling his heart rapidly beating against her fingertips.
"So this destiny thing has got you all excited too," she murmured.
He smiled. "It could be the destiny thing," he admitted slyly. "Or it could be the fact that you taste fantastic."
Kairi burst out laughing. Sora grinned, enjoying the sound. "Very smooth," Kairi said officiously when her laughter finally quieted. She licked her lips pensively. "You don't taste so bad yourself."
"Oh thanks," he muttered, rolling his eyes. She laughed again.
"So… it's getting late. Should we head back?" she asked quietly, glancing up at the stars.
"We could head back. Or," Sora grinned at her again. "I could get another taste."
Kairi smirked at him. He leaned toward her, still grinning.
"I'm liking this destiny thing more and more every second," he said quietly, not giving her a chance to answer as his lips met hers again.
"So what's the deal with you two? Are you a couple or not?"
Kairi grinned. She had been waiting all day for Selphie to ask her. It gave her a great deal of satisfaction to realize that she would never hear the question again.
"Yes, we are," she said simply. The shocked silence that followed made her grin even more.
"What?! Details!" Selphie demanded as soon as she got her voice back.
Kairi looked at her steadily, unable to stop smiling. "It's just like you said," she shrugged. "We have a destiny thing."