I honestly have no excuses for why my updates to this story are so slow other than the fact that now that I'm actually in college, this story is sort of awkward to work on because my views of college were obviously much different in high school lol. The next chapter will be the last (and it's always been planned to be the last so no worries, I'm not shortening due to the fact it's hard to get myself squeeze out chapters).
Thank you to anyone who still reads this who's been reading it from the beginning. And if you did give up on it… I don't really blame you lol. I've been super bad about updating and I can do nothing but apologize.
Disclaimer: I don't know Kingdom Hearts or the song for which this chapter is named, which is "Honeymoon Avenue" by Ariana Grande.
FRACTURED LOVE: Chapter Twelve
I feel like my heart is stuck in
bumper to bumper traffic
I'm under pressure
cuz I can't have you the way that I want.
Let's just go back to the way it was,
when we were on honeymoon avenue.
"I've got a surprise for you." I said as I opened the front door, careful to slip in so that Kairi wouldn't see Riku who was lingering just outside.
Sitting on the couch in the living room, she looked up from the book she was reading. She raised an eyebrow suspiciously as she stared at me, "What?" Without replying, I pulled open the door and she jumped up instantly after seeing him, "Riku!"
"Hey," He only just made it inside before Kairi latched onto him.
"It's so good to see you!" She hugged him tightly, "We were really worried about you."
"Yeah, I know. Sorry about that." Riku scratched the back of his head sheepishly, "I was just trying to keep you two out of it but everything's fine now. I'm definitely glad I did what I did, seeing as the huge step you guys took while I was gone. Congratulations, by the way."
Letting go of Riku, she stepped back and smiled with a small blush, "So I guess Sora told you already. Thank you."
He nodded, smirking, "Yeah, he could hardly control himself. He wanted to tell me that more than listen to where I was for the past few months."
"Oh, come on. Did not." I shoved him jokingly. After seeing a flash of disappointment on Kairi's face, I quickly corrected, "I mean, it's still pretty much the first thing I told him. But he told me his situation first, I swear."
"He's telling the truth, I'm just picking on him." Riku laughed and reached out his arm to tussle my hair which I quickly swatted away. "Touchy, touchy." He commented and I rolled my eyes.
Changing the subject, I turned to Kairi, "Hey, Kairi. Did your day go okay? I know you were worried."
She blinked and tilted her head in thought, seemingly replaying the day in her head. She then nodded, "Yeah, it was fine. If anything, it was Naminé and Olette that scared people off because they were so excited to see me."
"Heh. Speaking of…" I paused, for a moment, lowering my voice, "Is everything better between them now? You know, the whole Roxas thing."
"Wait, what?" Riku gave me a confused look.
Giving him a confused look in return, I quickly realized aloud, "Oh. I forgot you weren't here when all of that happened. Uh, well, Roxas came up to me after class one day and basically told me he was starting to think of Olette as more than a friend but at the same time he still really cared about Naminé so he didn't want to hurt her. He eventually did break up with her, and since Olette and Naminé are roommates that whole situation was just kind of awkward. Olette moved out for a little while to give Naminé some space."
"Wow," Riku replied with a surprised face, crossing his arms, "That must have been really tough on all three of them. Seems like they handled it in the best way possible, though." I nodded in agreement before looking back at Kairi.
Feeling both of our stares, Kairi looked towards the ceiling and started, "Um… Well, first off, I didn't see them at the same time. I have class with Naminé and I just saw Olette while I was walking and talked to her real quick since she was on her way to class. But Naminè seems to be more okay with it now and she seems more like her usual self. They're both living with each other again, and Olette said since Naminé okayed it she and Roxas might start dating officially soon. But for right now they're still just friends and trying to make sure everything gets worked out smoothly."
"Well, I'm glad they're putting their friendships with each other first instead of rushing into things. Hope everything works out for the best." I responded, stuffing my hands into my pockets and thinking about how glad I was I had never been in a situation like that.
Riku nodded in agreement before pulling his phone out of his pocket and checking the time. Looking between us, he began apologizing, "I know I didn't get to stay for very long, but I have to get ready to leave for my job at this grocery store near my apartment. Just started there last week."
"It's okay. Was nice seeing you, man." I reached over to pat his back, joking, "Just don't disappear on us again."
He laughed, "Yeah, I won't."
Kairi gave him a stern look, "Seriously, please don't. The room here's always open if you need a place to stay and come over any time you want, okay?" She went over to hug him.
Returning the embrace, he nodded, "I will."
"Good." She replied before letting go and stepping back, "I'm glad you're okay, Riku."
Scratching the back of his neck sheepishly, "Sorry again, for making you two worry. But don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. See you later," With that, he headed out the door.
"Bye!" Kairi and I called out in unison as he shut the door behind him. She turned back to me with a smile, "Thanks for surprising me."
I shrugged as I walked over to the couch and took a seat, "No problem. Knew you'd be really happy to see him."
She came over and sat beside me, reaching out and placing her hand on my leg, "So how did your day go?"
"Pretty boring. You know, syllabus day and all." I replied, then paused, "Oh, I did have an interesting conversation today, though. I'm actually thinking about changing my major to sports management since I'm really not into this computer stuff at all…"
Tilting her head in curiosity, she asked, "Did you stop by your adviser's office or something? I mean, I think it's a good idea and if you think you should switch, then I'm totally behind you on it. I'm just wondering what made you realize you were maybe in the wrong major."
I laughed, "Actually, no, it wasn't my adviser at all. It was this girl I sat next to in my psychology class."
"Oh." Kairi blinked in surprise and looked down.
"Yeah, she recognized me from the team and asked me if I was taking the class for my major or just for gen ed. So when I replied so unenthusiastically she suggested switching to something that still could revolve around hockey like management or advertising. I never really thought about it before but I think that it's a really good idea." I explained enthusiastically, "I guess I should email my adviser soon while I'm thinking about it."
"Hm." Kairi murmured in acknowledgement, before asking in a joking tone, "How'd she react when you said you were engaged? Seems like she was into you."
"I think she was just being friendly," I took a careful pause, realizing my answer probably wouldn't please Kairi too much, "But… it didn't come up." Kairi retreated her hand into her lap and gave me a look of disbelief. I squinted back at her, "Kairi, c'mon. Seriously? Literally all we know about each other is our names and our majors. That's all we talked about, so there was just never a time to say it."
"Okay…" She sighed, clearly still annoyed.
Scooting over closer to her and wrapping an arm around her waist, I asked, "Besides, would it really matter if she was into me? It's not like I'd ever do anything and risk losing you. That's kind of the point of this, you know." I used my other hand to touch hers, rubbing my thumb over her finger wearing the ring, "I wouldn't have asked you if I didn't mean it."
Kairi tilted her head down, "I know… I know I need to let things like jealousy go. But I mean, at the same time, we were just talking about Roxas, Olette, and Naminé a few minutes ago. So I guess I'm just a tiny bit scared even though I have no reason to be."
I bit my lip and leaned back into the couch, "I guess I understand, but there's no point in comparing us to another couple. We're different people so just because something unexpected happened with them doesn't mean something like that will happen to us, okay?"
She nodded and placed her head against my shoulder, "Mhm." I saw her close her eyes, "I'm sorry."
I shook my head, lifting my hands to gently rub her shoulders, "It's okay. Just have to take on problems as they come. Can't try and guess what's gonna happen in life because we'll never really know a hundred percent."
"You're right." She wrapped arms around me and gave me a tight hug before suggesting, "Wanna watch a movie?"
"Sure." I nodded happily, letting go of Kairi so she could get up and pick out a movie for us.
Sitting down on the floor next to the shelf, she ran her fingers along a few DVDs and asked, "What are you in the mood for?"
"Hmm…" I leaned back and crossed my arms, "Anything with comedy, I guess. Even if it's one of your chick flicks, that's fine."
"In that case," I saw her smirk as she pulled a box out and removed the disc.
"So what did you end up picking?" I stared at her curiously, trying to catch a glimpse of the title.
She didn't reply, inserting the disc into the DVD player before heading back to the couch. "It's a surprise." She finally replied as she sat down.
I shook my head, "Guess I set myself up for this, didn't I?"
"Yep." Kairi giggled before nuzzling her head against my shoulder.
Grasping my head with both of my hands, I whined, "My brain is gonna explode from all these midterms…"
Kairi reached over to pat my shoulder, not looking up from the notebook she was studying from, "You'll be okay. It's almost over with, you only have one more left."
"Yeah, but it kills me having to study like this." I lowered my hands into my lap and slumped backwards, "I can hardly handle studying just for one test at a time. Having to do it for three at once is torture." I nudged my stack of papers on the table with my foot, wishing I could forget about them.
"Think of it this way," She closed her notebook and placed it on the table, then looked at me, "You've already done it once and you're only a freshman. It can only get easier from here."
"I hope so." I replied unenthusiastically.
"It will." Kairi spoke confidentially as she stood before leaning back down to give me a peck on the lips, "Good luck on your midterm and on the game if I don't see you before it starts tonight."
I smiled nervously, "Thanks, I'll need it." She rolled her eyes, smiling as she turned around and walked towards the kitchen counter. Grabbing her purse, she waved a goodbye before heading out the door.
Everything was going right; Kairi was my fiancée, I changed my major just as Tori had suggested, I was doing well in my classes so far, but I still felt immensely under pressure. I was excited about the future but powering through what I was facing right now was the hardest part. Now that I had switched my major, being stuck in some of my computer classes made me feel somewhat unmotivated so I had to work extra hard to make sure that I didn't let myself slip. My team was depending on me, too. After suffering a few losses, we really needed this win so I really couldn't let my stress interfere with my mindset during the game.
As I made my way out of the apartment, I felt like I was only half-awake. But that was the only way I could really somewhat control my anxiety because inside my chest, my heart's pace was starting to quicken at the thought of the midterm and the game. The only positive was that at least once I was done with the midterm, I could come back to my apartment and relax for a bit before the game. 'A nap would probably do a world of wonders.' I thought to myself as I opened the door to my car and sat down, 'And it least it's Friday so I have the rest of the weekend to unwind…'
Once I had gotten to school, my heart sank in my chest as I approached the building my class was held in. 'You'll do fine, you'll do fine.' I repeated to myself all the way until I had reached the classroom. No one looked up as I entered, everyone's faces buried in their notes as they tried to review for the last several minutes. I followed suite once I had sat down, my eyes flying over the dozens of pages of notes I had in my notebook; everything looking familiar.
Deciding that if I didn't know something already, I probably wasn't going to learn it in the next five minutes, I decided to put up my notes and just let myself relax for the next five minutes.
"Hey!" I heard Tori's voice from my side.
"H-hey." I snapped my head up in surprise, causing her to laugh.
She sat down and began pulling out her notes, apologizing, "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."
I let out a small laugh as well, "It's okay. I'm just nervous."
"Well you made it through your computer classes and Spanish already, right? This should be a breeze compared to those." She pointed out with a tilt of her head.
"I know, I know. Kairi was basically telling me the same thing before she left. It's just cuz the game is tonight too so I'm just driving myself crazy."
When I told Tori that Kairi and I were engaged, she was a tiny bit shocked at first, much like everyone else. Maybe a bit more since she hadn't known us in high school like everyone else, but after a few minutes she returned to her same chipper self.
"All you have to do is make it through this midterm and hockey will come naturally. It's what you're passionate about, so you definitely don't need to worry about that. Just go out on the ice and have fun. I used to be the same way about my singing; I would always be so nervous. And even though I still get a little nervous, I realized that I could never give up the feeling that I get when I perform in front of people, so that fear I had meant absolutely nothing in the scheme of things." Tori's words were obviously very heartfelt, she dropped her note book and began moving her hands as she spoke.
I smiled widely, "Thank you, Tori. I know we haven't known each other for very long but you've seriously helped me a lot."
She waved me off nonchalantly, "It's no problem! Like I said, I've been through kind of the same stuff as you're feeling right now. Just help me out whenever I need someone to talk to and we'll call it even."
"I can definitely do that." I nodded eagerly before our attention was switched to the front of the room, where our professor was now speaking. As he told us to put our notes away, I looked over to Tori, "Good luck."
"You too." She smiled as she cleared the things off of her desk.
'Here we go.' I thought to myself as I took the test papers and scantrons from the TA, taking one of each for myself and passing them down to Tori. Taking a breath, I looked down at the questions and started to read through them. 'So far so good.' I commented to myself, realizing that I definitely knew all the answers on the first page. Filling in the scantron as I went along, I moved fairly quickly through the test minus a few questions here and there. Overall I felt pretty good when I turned in my things at the front of the classroom, thinking that it was definitely at least a B.
Kairi must have been pretty busy with her own midterms because she didn't even have time to come home before I had to leave for the game. On the positive side, that at least meant I got a pretty decent nap with no interruptions so I was feeling refreshed as I walked into the arena toward the locker room. Jake, as always, had beaten me there.
"Hey, man! How'd your midterms go? I feel like I haven't seen you in forever." He greeted eagerly.
I rolled my eyes and laughed, "It's been like maybe a week. And they went pretty well, but I studied forever. My brain is fried. How about you, how'd yours go?"
"Alright." He shrugged, "Not bad, not exactly amazing either. I would say I kept my trend of C's and B's."
I nodded as I started to put my gear on, "Gotcha. That's still pretty good, but—"
"Yeah, yeah; I know. I've gotta work harder. Got it." He waved me off with a smirk, "I really am trying. Studying is just really hard for me."
"Same for me, I just have to power through it. I've been getting better about asking my professor and stuff after class or email if there's stuff I don't understand, though. I never really used to do that in high school but it's been helping a lot." I explained as I pulled my jersey over my head.
"That's been a problem for me too, so guess I need to start doing that." Jake scratched the back of his head.
I shrugged, beginning to tie the laces on my skates, "Can't hurt, right? You might as well."
Hearing a loud bang on the lockers, Jake and I looked up to see our captain, James, staring intently at us. "Hurry up, guys. We've got to start warming up!"
"Sorry, just one second." I immediately replied, racing to finish tying my other skate as Jake got up and headed towards the door after James. Putting my helmet on, I rushed out the door and to the ice where the rest of my team was waiting.
"Glad to see you made it, slow poke." Andrew elbowed me in the ribs as I skated past him.
"Yeah, yeah. You won't be calling me slow poke for long." I grinned, skating a quick circle around him.
He waved me off, "But I can start calling you show off."
"Very funny." I rolled my eyes, still smiling. We skated around the arena in circles, occasionally shooting a puck or two at our goalie, Todd. Just as we were about to go back into the locker room I saw Kairi in the stands, who eagerly waved at me.
I waved back only to be tugged by one of my teammates, "C'mon, Sora."
After a few speeches from our couch and our team captain, we returned back to the ice. By that time, the stadium had filled up so it was nearly impossible to find Kairi or anyone else I could recognize. For a game so late in the season, the start was pretty slow. We spent a lot of time at one side or the other but neither team would manage to get the puck into the net.
After a slow first period, frustration started to rise from both sides in the second. Finally, one of my teammates managed to sneak the puck into the net with a wrap-around in the last few minutes followed by another goal from Jake in the beginning of the third. In attempt to block a shot on our goal, I lunged forward at a player on the opposite team and collided with him so hard that we both fell down on to the ice.
Hearing the ref whistle the play dead, I sat up and rubbed my shoulder which had hit the ice pretty hard. "What the hell was that!?" I heard yelling from my side before I felt someone's grasp on the neck of my jersey.
I looked over to see the guy I had collided with, a deep scowl on his face. I threw up my hands in an apology, "It was an accident. I didn't mean to slam into you that hard."
"Yeah, right." He pulled me up by my jersey before shoving me backward and taking off his gloves.
I shook my head and skated backward, "Stop. I'm not fighting you. I'm not going to get taken out of the game and hurt my team over something stupid like this."
"Chill out, man. Like he said, it was an accident." I heard Jake's voice behind me.
"You've already gotten into a fight this season… don't risk it. Besides, we need you. Don't be stupid." One of the guy's teammates muttered to him.
I held out my hands defensively and repeated, "Seriously, I didn't mean to do it. Let's keep the game going."
He glared daggers at me as his teammate dragged him away and we moved into position for a face-off. The game proceeded normally, our opponents eventually scoring one goal against us. With only a few minutes left of the game, I dashed forward with the puck towards the goal only to find myself skating over a stick and flying forward onto the ice. When I looked up with a glare, I saw the same guy again getting pulled away by the ref, commenting sarcastically as he passed me, "It was an accident."
Heaving a sigh and pulling myself up, I asked Jake, "What's his deal?"
He shrugged, "I dunno. I guess he thinks he's already in the NHL so he forgets you get majorly penalized for that kinda shit here in college hockey."
"Not only that but he's not even thinking about his team at all, just himself. Trying to be a tough guy just doesn't pay off in any way." I looked out into the stands, "Not to mention my mom and Kairi are gonna freak now. I went down two times tonight. I can imagine what their reaction would be if I actually fought that guy."
Jake waved it off, "Hey, at least you got up both times. It was pretty scary when you blacked out before."
I sighed, "Yeah, let's not talk about it. Anyway, we're almost done. We just gotta guard Todd long enough to get the win."
"Right." He nodded and skated off to his position. With the penalty against their team, it was easy work to keep the opposing team away from our end as they were too busy guarding their own.
As expected, Kairi had a frown when I exited the locker room. However, my mom seemed fine so there was at least a little bit of relief. "Are you alright? That guy was a huge jerk." She looked over me worriedly.
"Tell me about it. Yeah, I'm fine. My shoulder's a little sore, but that's my own fault." I shrugged it off before realizing who was standing next to Kairi, "Oh, hi, Tori!" I pointed between the two, "Did you guys meet already?"
"Yeah! I recognized her from the picture on your phone you showed me so I went over and introduced myself. Then we ended up talking a lot so I just sat down and stayed there for the rest of the game." Tori explained excitedly, "Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. I've gotta head out; I promised my friend Andre that we'd start working on a song tonight."
Kairi waved, "It was nice meeting you!"
"Same!" Tori replied, "See you Monday, Sora."
"See ya." I waved as well.
"I should be going too before it gets too late. Are you coming home anytime soon? I feel like it's been forever already." My mom teased with a tousle of my hair.
I rolled my eyes with a smile, "C'mon, we were just there for practically a month."
"I know, I know. It's just always nice to have you home. By the way, how were your midterms?" She looked at me curiously.
"They sucked." I groaned, "But I think I did okay. I studied my butt off."
My mom looked to Kairi who quickly replied, "I'm pretty sure I did well too."
"Good, good." She reached out to touch both of us on our shoulders, "Do definitely come home soon, though. Selphie complains all the time about how she hardly sees you two."
Kairi laughed and shook her head, "Jeez, I talk to her every day. Plus, she has a car; she can come see us!"
"I think she's trying to give you alone time since you're newly engaged and all. Either way, the house is always open whenever you want to come over."
"Thanks." I gave her a small hug, "See you later. Love you."
"Love you too." She hugged Kairi as well before leaving.
After I had gotten all my stuff together, we headed out to the parking lot as well. "By the way, Riku was here earlier but he got called in to cover someone's shift. He told me to say sorry he couldn't stay for the whole thing." Kairi explained as we exited the double doors.
I shrugged, "It's okay. It's still cool he managed to come for a little bit." Cracking my neck, I commented, "It sucks we always have to bring our own cars since I have to be here so much earlier than you. I really do not feel like driving. I just wanna go home and crash on the bed."
"I would say we could just leave your car here over night but I dunno… The school's parking operation people are known to be a little tow happy." She laughed.
"Yeah, I'd rather not risk it. We definitely don't need to be spending several hundred dollars to get it back. Plus I've heard horror stories about cars getting towed and then being covered in scratches and stuff when they get them back. That can't happen to my baby." I finished in an overdramatic tone.
Kairi rolled her eyes and shook her head, "Jeez." She pulled out her keys and unlocked her car, "I'll see you when you get home."
"Okay." I nodded, walking over a few more feet to my own car. As I sat down in my seat, it was all too tempting to just lean it back and fall asleep right then and there. 'Thank goodness it's less than a 10 minute drive home.' I shook my head to wake myself up before turning the car on and turning up the volume as loud as I could stand it, making sure to turn it back down before I entered our apartment complex.
Kairi was on the floor playing with Midnight as I walked through the door, looking up for a moment when I entered the door but quickly looking back to the cat. I normally would have commented 'Oh, I see how it is.' but tonight I was just way too exhausted. Dropping my duffle bag in a corner of the bedroom, I took of my jeans and swapped my shirt for a fresh one before collapsing onto the bed and closing my eyes.
"You really are that tired, huh?" I heard her voice as she entered the bedroom, turning on a lamp beside the bed and turning off the main light. Making no verbal response, I just shook my head up and down with my eyes still closed. "Are you sure?" Her voice took on a suggestive tone and I heard the rustling of clothes.
Peeking an eye open in curiosity, I saw her climb onto the bed beside me in only her bra and underwear. I felt a small spark of energy return to my body until Kairi scooted over and laid her head down on my shoulder resulting in a sharp pain. Letting out a sharp breath of air, she jumped up quickly as I whined, "Ouch…"
"I'm so sorry." She gently touched my arm, "Are you sure it's okay?"
"Yeah, I'm sure it's just a bruise so you putting pressure on it just hurt a little bit. I'll survive." I patted my shoulder to show her it was alright.
She looked me over again, "You don't want ice or anything?"
I shook my head, "No. I was just about to change my mind about being tired, though… You would happen to choose a night where I'm just completely out of commission." I stuck my tongue out, joking.
"Sorry." She smiled sheepishly before grabbing one of my t-shirts out of the dresser and putting it on before slipping off her bra from underneath it, "Anyway, we could just wait till we're married since we're already engaged and all."
"If you want to…" I replied quietly, closing my eyes.
I heard her climb back on to the bed, this time getting under the covers. Snuggling up to my side but being wary of my shoulder, she replied softly, "I'm just kidding."
"Were you really ready tonight?" I opened my eyes and turned my head towards her, "I'm not ruining the moment or anything, am I?"
She closed her eyes in thought, "Maybe I could have been, but I'm not entirely sure. I just wanted to see where it would go. But it's okay." She loosely grasped my hand with her own, "There'll be plenty of other times."
"You sure?" I felt myself beginning to drift in and out of sleep, the warmth of Kairi's body on top of the fact the bed was extremely comfortable.
Kairi was seemingly falling asleep too, giving a delayed response of "Of course." as she entangled her legs with mine, "Just go to sleep. I know you're really tired."
"Goodnight, Kairi." I whispered to her before yawning.
Her eyes closed, she smiled, "Goodnight."