For warm.summer.nights. Hopefully one of many.
Oh, man. A Kaiora. How long's it been? Really? (Though another one's already been planned, something short and cute; I just need to write it) And honestly, it's not that good, though I did try for something cute and innocent. And this is not nearly adequate enough for a dedication fic, but I'll try for more; I just hope this doesn't suck too much. So, please enjoy.
Disclaimer: Mm mmm, no way.
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Looking from beneath her lashes as she curled her legs onto the seat, she rested her palms against her shins, watching in disinterest the crowd of passengers on the train. Head cocked innocently, hair trailing down her shoulder and sweeping against the cloth of her white shirt, she listened to the music playing in her headphones, it providing a blissful background sound to distract her from the voices meshed together in the air. She was uncomfortable in the crowded area, and oftentimes she sent furtive glances about as she pretended to busy her attention on her jeans-clad legs, wishing for the umpteenth time that she was not going alone to Twilight Town on a Friday night.
As she thought this, she pulled back slightly so that her back rested against her seat, the skin of her arm brushing against the cool plastic as she searched through her pockets for her cell phone. Naminé had in a text given her the directions she had to take to get to her apartment, and with a sigh she made to look them up now, even though at this point she'd committed the directions to memory. Twilight Town, she knew, was small, and shouldn't be too hard to figure out. It was getting there that was the problem, the hour and a half train ride less than desirable when what she'd rather do was spend a night out with friends rather than "bond" for a weekend with her so-much-more-perfect twin sister.
Snorting derisively, she shoved her phone back into her pocket, pulling her legs closer to her form, pouting slightly as she bowed her head and stared pointedly into her lap. No matter how hard she tried to let her attentions wander, however, the staring got old quickly, and, tempted by restless, she forced herself to lift her chin and again scan the car of the train she was sitting in, her body sideways on the seat and hidden well enough so that she could do this without seeming too obvious.
As her gaze began to trail, she was met with a great shock, indigo eyes widening as, across from her, a sky-blue stare connected with hers. Stiffening, feeling color and heat flood her face as she grew too paralyzed to look away, she kept his gaze unwillingly, silently hoping that he'd remove his glance first, that he wouldn't think her too pathetic.
Alarmingly, though, once he'd done a double-take, convincing himself that she was, in fact, blatantly eyeing him down, he arched a brow in question, head lolling to the side lazily on his seat, gravity-defying hair brushing against the sickly yellow hue of it and contrasting greatly with its brown color. Blinking, she watched him blink in reply, and then, slowly, his lips curled into a soft smile, and he shrugged casually enough. With a final wink, making her feel all the more like a complete and total dumbass, he glanced ahead again, slipping down against the bench and propping his legs up on the seat back before him, hands linked behind his head.
Raising her hand to her face, she muffled a grown and pressed her palm against the heat of her skin, completely and utterly embarrassed. She really had no tact when it came down to things, unable to handle simple social etiquette and just turn her gaze away when someone was baffled by her staring. Honestly, she was hopeless, a total fool. Digging her nails into her skin mercilessly, she slumped against the window, stretching out her legs before her, turning up the volume simultaneously to drown out her embarrassment. Hopefully, the kid would just get off at the next stop, and she could be saved further mortification, as then he would be gone and she'd never see him again.
She doubted it would be so easy as that, but she could hope, of course.
To save herself from making a further ass out of herself, however, she leaned easily to her right as she kept her eyes averted from the row of seats across from her, head resting against the bench in front of her and hair shielding her eyes as aimlessly she shuffled through her bag. Wanting to call none of her friends from home – as then she'd miss them and want to turn around as quickly as possible, instead of doing what she should do, which was visiting her sister – she thought to instead preoccupy her restless mind with something more fruitful, such as a book. Though, as immediately as her fingertips brushed against a nameless tome, the desire to read left her, and instead she roamed about in her bag for something else, coming up only with a package of gum as a prize after a good five minutes of laborious searching were spent. Sighing in disappointment, she leaned back, unable to keep her stare from wandering straight as she fiddled with the package.
He was as she'd last seen him, casually lounging in his bench, eyes on the ceiling, lips moving soundlessly – it was then that she saw the headphones in his ears, and it made more sense. Still, the fact that he was not looking at her was oddly disappointing, and she found herself somewhat irked by his presence, shifting exaggeratedly as she slapped her heels on the bench upon crossing her legs more comfortably. Still, his gaze didn't wander towards her, and with a roll of her eyes she gave up, savoring the cinnamon flavor in her mouth as she glanced down and changed the song on her music player. It was going to be a long trip; she might as well enjoy the solitude while it lasted.
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She was startled awake by a shifting beside her. Disorientated, she moved her legs with a soft sigh, lashes fluttering and the taste of cinnamon stale in her mouth. Upon further rousing, though, she widened her eyes in confusion, music still whispering in her ear, and then jumped to see a familiar blue gaze and shock of brown hair closer to her proximity. Slamming her shoulder blades against the catch of the window, she immediately cursed under her breath, edging away from the stranger male's smile and muffled laughter and taking up furious glowering when he quickly made himself at home beside her.
"Don't mind me. I just didn't want you to sleep too long. Who'd be here to wake you up if you missed your stop? Especially with those headphones on." Grinning, he looked over at her and winked again. "Plus, you should never sleep with gum in your mouth. Didn't your mother ever tell you not to do that?"
'Never knew her,' she wanted to quip, but instead she settled on eyeing him skeptically, wondering if she'd be able to make him uncomfortable enough to leave. His blue eyes, though beautiful, were disconcerting.
"I'm Sora," he added in a friendly fashion when she found herself wordless, and in surprise she edged back from his extended hand, flicking her eyes from under her lashes up towards him.
In hesitance she tilted her head, blinking slowly as his hand remained outstretched, unwavering. Finally, closing her eyes in a resigned fashion, she nodded and lowered her headphones to rest around her neck, then reaching out and gently clasping his extended hand. Not covered by his gloves, his fingers were surprisingly soft and warm. Again, color and warmth seeped into her cheeks, and she mumbled her own greeting before pulling away.
"Sorry. I…didn't catch your name." Tilting his head, grinning, he beamed at her, flashing a full, white smile.
Staring openly at him now, taking in his tanned face and innocent features, the way his face lit up when he seemed happy and the way his eyes glittered excitedly in the light, she found it hard not to smile back at him. Tilting her head, laughing softly, she brushed away smooth locks of red hair from her eyes, then lowering her arm back down.
"Kairi," she replied, lips curved delicately and eyes slightly reserved. His cheer was infectious, true, but she wasn't entirely willing to open up completely to a stranger, especially one who'd had no qualms about making himself feel at home beside her. He seemed unfazed by her withdrawn attitude, however, instead firmly shaking her hand and then pulling back, intertwining his fingers on the base of his neck and leaned beside her on the bench.
"Sorry about dropping in on you like this," he said, tilting his head and grinning just as she let her attention wander, so that in surprise she shot her head back towards him, brows arching in disbelief, heart skipping a beat; it was as if he could read her easily. "I don't normally do it, and I find it weird when people do, so if I startled you out a little, then sorry." Giving a soft laugh, he closed his eyes, turned forward. "I guess I just felt a little alone; Riku always hates going to Twilight Town, so I'm by myself on this trip."
Attention again moving abruptly over to him at the sound of his destination's name, she tried to find in her a sinking dread, some tidbit of disappointment at the fact that he was headed towards where she was going; she found none.
"Twilight Town?" she piped up, moving her body to face ahead, feet slipping onto the floor. Casually placing her palms on the bench seat below her, she leaned forward, turning her head for face him. "I'm going there, too. My sister; she's there. And my stepbrother, but he's an asshole." Shrugging carelessly, she then raised her eyes to gauge his reaction; he looked close to laughing.
"Oh?" he asked with a chuckle, grin tilting his lips upwards. "Well, I don't have any asshole stepbrothers there, but my cousin lives there. I see him every weekend. We hang out and stuff." He shrugged. "You know, the usual."
She shook her head, swinging her feet as she looked down. "No. Not really."
A silence fell between them, and she wondered if maybe her stupid tendency to say more than was comfortably acceptable in conversation had made him feel too tense. The soles of her sneakers brushing against the floor, she kept her eyes down, hair curling around each side of her face, falling to dangle in the air as she leaned forward and then backwards aimlessly.
Smirking humorlessly, she shrugged. "It'd be an understatement."
"I've gotten that before. I wouldn't worry too much."
"Oh, I don't," she muttered, but then she lifted her chin and shrugged casually, tilting her head at him. His stare was trained on her, unreadable, and with great effort she offered him a smile. "But it's all water under the bridge now. We tolerate each other. I can deal with that."
"Hmm." He looked contemplative for a second, and then, miraculous, he found in the awkwardness of the situation a reason to smile, beaming brightly as he swayed back and forth with the movement of the train. Blinking at him, she cocked her head, body jerking forward a little violently, her hair swinging out into her eyes. So absorbed in the conversation with him, she'd lost herself, not noticing the speed of the train or the buzz of faceless voices still humming all around her. It was an odd sensation. "Well, hey, even if you really don't want to see this sister of yours, at least we got to meet, right? That's good."
Blinking in surprise, staring openly at him as she tried to process that statement, unused to such blatant honesty and innocence from anyone, she parted her lips in an attempt to say something and inevitably failed at words. Pressing her mouth together once more, she took in the handsomeness of his features, the apparent muscle lost beneath his navy shirt and black-and-red jacket, his sweet demeanor, his infectious cheer.
"Yeah," she said softly, and then, more enthusiastically, she nodded. "Yeah, it is."
Grinning back, he nudged her gently, leaning comfortably close, and at the gesture of affectionate she giggled, pressing back. He was a stranger, someone whom she'd probably never set eyes on again, but it was the first time in a while that she'd allowed herself such free emotion so easily, and he was worth it, she found. He made her smile. Lately, it seemed, that was hard to do.
In short time she found herself with her cheek resting against his shoulder as she reached down and thumbed through his songs obtrusively, he not minding at all or at least remaining silent about it if he did. His body was warm, too, soft, and it lulled her into a security she was scared of, something more calming and hopeful than a lazy train ride into a rural town. She could easily depend on a person like him, and she didn't know if she wanted to…and she didn't know if she'd like it more than anything.
"Hey, you still tired?"
"Hmm?" Distractedly lifting her eyes, she stared into his grinning face, confused.
"Well, I did wake you up. You could fall back asleep if you wanted; I wouldn't mind."
"Mm…" she mumbled, glancing back down at his electronic music player, and then she pulled back, stretching her arms over her head, letting her head then loll to the side as lazily she smiled. "No, I'm okay. Besides, we've only got…" Confusion sweeping over her face, she leaned towards him again, rooting through her right pocket for her phone; once she'd claimed it, she flipped the cover up, reading the time quickly. "…'bout ten minutes. No point, really."
"If you say so," he remarked with a shrug, then grinning and elbowing her playfully. She laughed in response and leaned against her seat, lifting her eyes to the ceiling, allowing her lips to remain in their gentle curve as his presence beside her stayed forefront in her mind. She liked him. Though scornful of many people, she found herself really enjoying his attention. And he smelled good, too, like nature and sweet soap; an addicting person, he was.
"So," he said, after some minutes had passed, stretching his arms out and pressing his knuckles against the seat back in front of them, "ready to face the family?"
She made a face, and he laughed.
When the train came to a stop, all voices muted to give way to concentrated movement and the rustling of clothing, Sora, beside her, stood, gathering his things and then stepping back to make room for her to move out. Sparing him an appreciative smile, she walked down the aisle and then down the steps, onto the platform before she knew it and looking back for him against her will. He reappeared quickly, not making her wait, and at the sight of her he smiled wide, waving, bounding down the steps.
"This sister meeting you here?" he asked as he moved to stand beside her, scanning the people moving about, looking for a head he could recognize. Nodding reluctantly, she reached into her pocket again, retrieving her phone and fumbling again and again with the contacts, exiting them when she decided against calling her twin and then inevitably going back to them once more.
"Well, Rox should be here soon, but I'll wait for you." Sensing his eyes on her, she looked up with a smile, but found that by the time she'd glanced towards him he'd bowed his head, searching for something she couldn't see. When he looked back to her again, smile on his face, she saw in his hand a blue cell phone, Sora tilting his head shyly as he tentatively said, "Y'know, I had a great time talking to you---"
"What's your number?" she said with a laugh, already typing in his name, tilting her head in conversation. In relief he grinned and played along; once finished, she typed her own number into his phone.
"Cool," he said, with a lot more eagerness than casualness, which made her giggle. "I'll keep in touch; maybe I can drag you back here some other weekend, and we can meet up."
Meeting his eyes, she smiled. "I'd like th---"
Surprised, she turned her heads towards the source of her name's beckoning, face falling slightly when she saw her twin waving desperately, on her toes to be seen beyond the ground. Reluctantly waving back, she took a step forward, and then immediately she halted herself, looking back towards him.
"Go on," he said with a grin, inclining his head. "You have to face her some time."
"I should wait…" she said doubtfully, meeting his eyes, feeling regretful that she couldn't spend more time with him.
"No," he encouraged gently, "you should spend time with her. Now go." And playfully he pushed her, laughing as she stumbled and then shot him an annoyed look. Unable to help herself, though, she cracked a smile.
"It was nice meeting you," she said softly, looking over her shoulder towards Naminé in a false cover of concern to hide her embarrassment. The girl was walking towards them, moving closer as the seconds passed, and with a resentful rush she found herself harboring the weighty desire of keeping Sora for herself, of not having the girl ever meet him. Looking back, smiling slightly, she watched him grin back and urge her forward, pocketing his phone as he did so.
"It was nice meeting you, too." His voice was soft, warm, affectionate, and it made her blush under his gaze. Shifting, attempting to urge her feet from the spot, she twisted, gave a falsely cheerful wave, and then stepped back, uncertainly tucking long strands of hair behind her ear.
And then, before she could help herself, she threw her arms around him and squeezed him affectionately, smiling as she murmured, "Bye."
Dancing away from him then, waving as she laughed and hurried away, she caught his dazed expression as it faded and felt a surge of feeling at his returned smile, face on fire, heart skipping a beat. Aware of her cell phone pressing against her leg faithfully, she smiled foolishly and turned ahead, nearly running into her twin as she then became aware of her, coming upon the spot where the girl had appeared out of the crowd, stopping dead.
"Hey…" she said cautiously, stepping back, looking through overgrown blonde bangs with eyes a clear, crystal-blue color and infinitely intelligent; eyes Kairi envied even now, because they were so lovely. "So…who was that?"
Unable to help herself, she smiled and tilted her head, clasping her hands behind her back as she rocked on her heels. But, then again, Naminé didn't have Sora, didn't have his smile in her memories or his number in her phone, so she supposed she could live with inadequacy while she visited her twin. "Oh. Just a friend."
Sparing the redhead a puzzled look, Naminé nodded slowly, and then she looked towards the girl's small bag packed for the occasion, distracted. "So. Shall we?"
And Kairi shrugged, nodded, and ran her fingers through her hair, the dread in her stomach not as pronounced now, now that she knew someone to make this experience less trying. "Let the bonding experience begin."
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Hah, unsolved predicament, for the win. Anyway, please review.