By Crystal Leigh
They were best friends; maybe even more. But when fate drags them apart, promises are broken, feelings and attitudes change, old dreams are replaced with new ones. When the old wishes are answered, will it be too late for them?
Kairi Lockheart and Sora Strife were best friends from the very beginning. And as they grew older, their feelings for each other did too. But a sudden twist of fate ripped the two apart, leaving each of them stranded, broken silhouettes destined to fade into the shadows. For without each other they were nothing. They each held the others' heart and soul, and couldn't imagine a life without each other.
But the nightmares became reality. She clung onto every last fragment of him, determined that they would meet again, determined to relive the past once more. He shook off the memories, keen to forget them, wanting to leave the past behind him and start a new future - without her.
Fate played it's cards once more and she suddenly found that her old dreams were once more becoming a reality - two years later than she wished for them. In her mind, it was too late – she'd built up a new life, and wasn't prepared to go back to her old one so easily. But would the unbreakable bonds of friendship and love they held still be there? Could lost memories be regained and forgotten promises remade?
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts.
Authors Note: So here it is, my second Fanfic! I hope you all enjoy it as much as you do 'One in a Million' and I'm looking forward to hearing from my regular reviewers, I hope! Well, enjoy!
We were best friends. Always there for each other. Till the very end, so we said. We were inseparable; if he wasn't concerned, I didn't care about it; if he wasn't going to be there, I wasn't either.
He felt the same way. Our parents always joked we would end up married one day. Of course, we would automatically give them a look of pure disgust, sticking our tongues out in a fashion that was very popular amongst small children.
But secretly, I prayed that our parents spoke the truth.
"You kids should just get married!" Aerith laughed, her arms wrapped around her husband, Cloud.
"How adorable would your kids be?" Rinoa squealed, glancing up at Squall, her husband.
Cloud looked at his spiky-haired son in amusement, letting out a light laugh as he stuck his tongue out in disgust.
"Yuck!" the youngest Strife child spat, "Mom, that's gross!"
Aerith laughed. "Kairi doesn't seem to think so!"
I was the young auburn-haired girl standing next to her mommy obediently. Glancing up at my mom's best friend, I quickly wiped off the small love-sick smile that had appeared on my face at the mention of mine and Sora's kids.
"Yes I do!" I insisted, nodding my head vigorously, my short auburn hair bobbing up and down in rhythm. "Ew…children with Sora? Bleaugh!"
The young boy known as Sora looked at his parents triumphantly. "See? I win!"
The adults laughed in unison, and Cloud leaned forward to ruffle his son's hair, but he was quickly slapped away by the 6-year old.
"Dad!" he whined, "You're ruining my hair! Stop being so embarrassing!"
Cloud chuckled at his sons amusing behaviour, smiling at him cheesily. "That's what I'm here for!"
Sora shot his Dad a glare. "That's my smile," he grumbled, a pout finding its way onto his face.
I giggled at his cute actions, grabbing his hand. "Come on, lazy bum, let's go play in the sand!"
Turning to me, he did his infamous 'Sora-smile', mouth wide open, teeth showing. The parents laughed at his ability to forget things within a second of them happening, and I laughed sweetly at how adorable he looked with his two front teeth missing.
We lived like this in bliss for years. Our parents had known each other since high school; both our mothers had got pregnant at the same time; he was born one day before me, and he never let me forget it.
We were best friends since we were in diapers, sharing birthday parties, friends and secrets. There wasn't one thing we didn't know about each other.
My Mom got pregnant a year after she had me. Thus, I gained a younger sister, Namine. I loved her dearly; she was like an angel. But that's what everyone else seemed to think too. I was left standing in the dark, eclipsed by my younger sibling.
Sora was the one I went to for comfort; he was the one that stood beside me and treated me as if I actually mattered.
We only ever had one argument. I remember it clearly; it'll stay in my memory forever. We were thirteen, Sora had just gotten his first girlfriend – naturally, I was jealous.
It wasn't a proper relationship, we were only young, but it still affected me greatly. For the first time, I felt as if I was losing my best friend. He was growing up without me, getting new friends, doing new things, and I was still sitting in the sandbox waiting for my old playmate to return.
"Kairi, I have someone I want you to meet!" Sora announced at the end of school. Thinking that it was another person to introduce into our group that already included me, Sora, Selphie, Roxas and Tidus, I smiled happily, following him through the school corridors, eager to meet this person.
I was met with the sight of a young girl, around our age, her green eyes focused nervously on the floor, her curled brunette hair clipped back.
"Kairi, this is Olette!" Sora introduced, walking round to stand next to her.
"Hi Olette!" I smiled sweetly, giving her a small wave.
"Olette, this is my best friend, Kai!"
Olette stuck her hand out, and I shook it gratefully. On first impressions, this girl seemed really nice.
"Hi Kai! Sora's told me loads about you!" I frowned at her statement; nobody called me Kai except for Sora.
Then the realisation of what she'd said hit me, and I blushed slightly, catching Sora's eye as he smirked. Although I'd never dare admit it to him, since hitting puberty I had grown a small crush on him.
Olette giggled. "Oh, just stuff. You know!"
My forehead crinkled. What sort of stuff?
"Hey, Olette, we're going to be late for the movies, we gotta go!" Sora said hastily, eyes widening as he looked at his watch. He grabbed her hand, and began dragging her down the corridor.
"Wait, I thought we were going to the beach?" I protested, running to catch up with the two.
"Yeah, but then Olette said she wanted to see that new chick flick so I said I'd take her!" Sora replied, still walking. I noticed that they were holding hands, and glared with distaste.
"But…you said you'd take me too! I'm your best friend!"
"And I'm his girlfriend!" Olette cut in, smiling sweetly. "Come on, Sora, let's go!"
Sora shrugged at me, then turned and walked out of the building, hand in hand with Olette, not looking back once.
He left me when I needed him the most, just to take Olette to the movies. Abandoned by the one person I thought I could rely on, the one person who said he'd never leave me.
I thought I was going to lose him. He didn't even call me to explain afterwards. It was the weekend after that, and I didn't speak to him once. I felt so alone. I just sat in my room and cried and cried and cried, unable to comprehend the thought that he had moved on and found someone else.
I'd always assumed that we would be best friends forever. And then, when we were older, girlfriend and boyfriend. I was naïve, I admit it, but I believed fairytales could come true. And this was the first time I realised that maybe not everyone got a happy ending.
I went back to school on Monday, and I didn't say one word to him all throughout the day. I tried my best to ignore him entirely. He probably didn't notice; too busy looking at Olette. I hung around with Roxas all day, trying to prove to myself that I didn't need Sora.
It didn't work. Although Roxas was a really good friend of mine, and I really liked him, he just wasn't Sora. We didn't have that mutual understanding, that ability to know what the other was thinking just through a look, that relationship you can only gain through knowing a person for as long as we had known each other.
The end of the day came, and I still hadn't said anything to Sora. That was three days now! The longest I'd ever gone without speaking to him. I was really beginning to feel the strain.
But then, when putting my books away in my locker, I found a note, saying:
Meet me at our speshal place at 7.00, pleese.
I instantly knew who it was from – the appalling spelling gave him away! And even though I was supposed to be angry at him, I couldn't stop a smile spreading over my face. And so I went to meet him.
Walking through the tunnel into our secret place nervously, I instantly noticed that Sora was already in there, sitting facing our drawings of each other. I smiled, preparing myself to say something, when I noticed that he was busy doing something.
Creeping up behind him, I saw him scribbling an addition to our drawing with an old rock. I patiently waited until he had finished, lowering his hand back down to his side.
I swear he jumped five feet into the air!
"K-Kai?" He stuttered. "What are you doing here?"
I shot him a quizzical look. "You gave me a note, remember?"
"Oh…oh yeah. Hi."
"Hi to you too!" I returned, smiling. "So, what's up?"
Sora stood up, purposefully standing in front of the drawings, rubbing the back of his head nervously.
"Well, uh, you see, I just wanted to say sorry about how I've been -,"
His apology was interrupted by my petite frame slamming into his with the force of a thousand elephants.
"I forgive you!" I whispered into his chest. I slowly felt his arms wrap around me.
"I missed you," he admitted.
"I missed you too!" Letting go of him, I stepped back, placing my hands on my hips and looking at Sora directly in the eye. "But don't you ever go off like that again, promise?"
Sora smiled crookedly, placing his hands on my shoulders to reassure me. "Promise! And I never break my promises, remember?"
Leaning forward, I placed a quick, soft kiss on his cheek, my hands intertwined behind my back, enjoying the show of watching his face turn red.
"I know, lazy bum. Just remember: I'm always with you."
He was, of course, referring to the Oathkeeper when talking of the promises, a thelassa shell charm he'd given me years ago, when I was seven, as a birthday present. He'd proclaimed that as long as I kept it, he would never break a promise to me. And his first promise to me was that if we would always be together. Foolishly, I believed him.
Only later did I notice his addition. A picture of him handing me a Paupu fruit. I was touched. It was the first sign of his love for me, even if he did have a girlfriend.
Our teen's years came and went in a blur of confusing emotions, anger, trauma, love, happiness. After the Olette business, we had never been closer. The two broke up after two months, due to Olette cheating on him Even though it was a silly kiddie relationship, Sora was heartbroken, and I was the one who was there to console him, I was the one he confided in.
Similarly, it was him, not one of my girlfriends such as Selphie or Yuffie, who helped me through the confusing ordeal that was my first period. He held my hand when I got cramps, he was brave enough to buy me the necessities when I ran out and my mom wasn't available, for I was too embarrassed. He was my rock.
And then he supported me through my first break-up. I first started going out with Axel when I was fourteen, and I thought I was in love with him. I wasn't, of course, but that's what infatuation does to you. I couldn't imagine life without him.
I don't know how Sora put up with me though. I was never stupid enough to ignore him and leave him out – I didn't need a repeat of the Olette ordeal. But all I ever talked about was Axel this, Axel that. I thought he was the world. And Sora never interrupted, never got bored, not once. He sat there and listened to me, just like a true friend.
And he gave me advice. He was a boy; he knew how their minds worked. He spent hours telling me what every gesture and word Axel said meant, talking as if it was the most important thing in the world – which to me, it was.
And then, when I turned fifteen, after I'd been with Axel for 8 months, he was my shoulder to cry on when we broke up messily. Axel was 16 by then, and had gotten bored of me, finding a new girlfriend, Larxene, who wasn't too scared to take things further with him.
Sora knew how I felt, having experienced something similar with Olette, and so he talked to me and listened to me and helped me get through it. I don't know what would've done without him.
And when Axel was a jerk to me, he gladly took care of him for me, making sure Axel would never hurt me again. And once again, our relationship grew deeper and stronger, our bonds now practically unbreakable by anything except death.
But death came. Unexpected, it showed up at our doorsteps just when we had got out lives back on track again, and things were running smoothly. And just like that, it broke our bonds.
I thought only the death of one of us could change our friendship. How wrong I was.
It was the December after my break-up with Axel, Christmas was nearing in a few days, and our families had great plans for going on a holiday to Christmas Town. Our things were packed, suitcases ready next to the door, ready for when our parents returned from their meal.
"Sora, I'm bored!" I whined, looking around my living room. Bright decorations were hung up everywhere, a vast Christmas tree at one end of the room, messily decorated by the whole family.
Sora and I were sat on the sofa, having just finished a massive popcorn fight. Namine was quietly sat in an armchair by the Christmas tree, idly flicking through one of her art magazines, occasionally turning to her sketch book and doodling something.
Sora's younger sister, Yuna, who had recently turned two, sat by the fireplace, immersed by a building block. I smiled at her, remembering the innocence of being her age.
"You could clean the popcorn?" Sora suggested. I rolled my eyes at him, telling him exactly what I thought of his idea.
Smirking, I noticed a piece of popcorn stuck in his hair and reached over to pull it out.
"What are you doing?" he asked, his eyes following my hand.
"What you said," I replied, "Cleaning the popcorn!" Sora fake laughed as I freed the popcorn from his messy hair, and then he choked as I popped it into his unsuspecting mouth.
"Gah!" he spluttered, "Kai! I was so not ready for that!"
I laughed. "Exactly!" Reaching over, Sora grabbed me by my sides, tickling me wildly, a determined yet humorous expression on his face.
My eyes widened. "Sora! S-stop i-it! N-n-now!" My laughter rang around the house uncontrollably, and Sora smirked, knowing he'd hit my weak spot.
Namine looked over at us, sighing, muttering something about 'flirting'. Namine had always been quiet and mature for her age, unlike me. She also had this crazy idea that Sora and I were actually in love with each other. Whatever.
Managing to free myself from his strong grasp, I stumbled out of the living room and into the kitchen, hearing his footsteps directly behind me. Seeing that I was trapped, I took the only escape route I knew – into the garden.
It was dark outside, and the ground was covered in a thick layer of snow. It was peaceful, the night sky free from any clouds, the stars twinkling merrily overhead. It was still, the wind absent, with soft flakes of snow tumbling from the sky.
Shivering, I wrapped my festive red sweater closer to myself, pulling down my denim skirt so it covered more of my tights-concealed legs.
Turning around, I saw Sora standing directly behind me, hands out ready to tickle, a mischievous smile on his face. I let out a short scream, followed by an eruption of giggles as he tackled me to the soft snow, straddling my waist, hands tickling my ribs endlessly.
"N-no…p-please!" I gasped, unable to breathe from laughing so hard, "I s-surrender! You win!"
Sora paused his attack only momentarily, holding my arms above my head. "What do you say?" he asked evilly, a glint in his beautiful cerulean eyes.
I sighed heavily, my mouth forming into a pout. "Sora is the bestest person in the whole wide world," I muttered for the hundredth time in that past year.
Smirking, Sora rolled off me, sitting up in the snow. He grabbed a handful, chucking it at my face. "Hey!" I yelled in protest. Sora stuck his tongue out in reply.
Leaning back, Sora lay on the ground by me, his body vertical to mine, facing the opposite way, his head next to mine.
Turning to look at him, I noticed that he had closed his eyes, a smile playing on his lips.
I allowed my indigo eyes to roam his tan face, crossing over the familiar features, his sharp jaw line, his perfect lips, his alluring eyes outlined by a frame of long, dark eyelashes, his surprisingly soft spikes of chocolate brown hair flopping onto his face and sticking up at impossible angles.
Suddenly, one of Sora's eyes opened, revealing the crystal blue colour that could get me to do anything. I blushed instantly, my face heating up even though it was cold, the steam protruding from my mouth proving that point.
Recently, my relationship with Sora seemed to have changed into something…more. After I'd broken up with Axel, it was as if we both saw that we didn't seem to work with anybody else. We were the only ones that had stayed such close friends, that had maintained that special bond.
I now felt my heart skip a beat whenever I saw his smiling my face. My thoughts turned to mush and my knees to jelly when I spoke to him. My brain spiralled out of control when he asked me to do something with him, and neither of us grimaced in disgust when our parents commented on what an adorable couple we'd make; we merely smiled knowingly, each of us lost in our own world.
I'm not sure what brought on this change, whether it be puberty or relationship crisis's, but the feelings had been there for a while now, and instead of fading, they merely grew stronger with each passing day.
"Kai?" Sora's velvet voice interrupted me from my broodings. I turned my head to the side to face him, and saw that he'd done the same.
Our faces were now inches away from each other, I could feel his hot, sweet-smelling breath on my face. Even though my heart was beating erratically in my chest, I still felt that strange sense of being comfortable that I had whenever he was around.
"Do…do you think it will always be like this?" Sora asked quickly, as if eager to get all the words out. "As in, do you think we'll always be together?"
I frowned slightly at this random, yet significant question. "Of course! Well, I hope so, anyway. Why do you ask?"
From where he was, Sora attempted a shrug. "I don't know…I've just been thinking. I mean, we've been so lucky to have stayed together this long. Something bad is bound to happen…" His voice trailed off, his cobalt eyes still boring into my violet orbs.
"Sora! Don't say that!" I accused, reaching over to flick his nose with my finger.
My desired affect was achieved as he scrunched his nose up in that was I found simply too cute for words, a small smile finding its way onto his face.
"I know. I'm being silly, aren't I?" Sora sighed. "Reading into things too much, as usual! I'm such a dork."
"Yes, but you're my dork!" I teased.
Sora chuckled, then his expression turned serious once more. "Kai…? There's been something I've been meaning to tell you for a while now…"
My mouth turned suddenly dry, my heart beat loud in my ears, blood pumping to my face quickly.
"Yes?" I asked, my voice sounding parched.
"I…I…I think I l-"
His confession was interrupted by the loud screams for me of my sister, erupting from the kitchen.
I inwardly cursed her for ruining this potentially crucial moment. I saw Sora sigh out deeply, also annoyed.
"What?" I yelled back irately.
"Kairi! Sora! Come in!" She repeated, her tone taking on more sadness.
"Kind of in the middle of something…" I muttered angrily, but nevertheless I lifted myself from the ground, dusting the snow off me. "Come on, lazy bum," I said, offering my arm to hoist Sora up. He took it, not looking me in the eye, from embarrassment, I supposed.
Walking round to the side door leading to the kitchen, I saw Aerith standing at the entrance, holding a sobbing Namine to her, a saddened expression on her face.
Cloud stood in the background, cradling Yuna, his facial expression matching his wife's.
My mouth suddenly felt very dry, and this time, it wasn't because of Sora.
"What…what happened?" I whispered, my mind already knowing the answer, but not wanting to accept it.
"Kairi…I'm so sorry. Everything will be okay, I promise…"
As Aerith went on to explain, I was vaguely aware of Sora wrapping his arms tightly around me, pulling me closer to him. Aerith's words echoed in my ears, repeating themselves over and over, etching themselves into my soul.
Blinding pain shot through my arm as I punched through the glass window uncontrollably, pushing Sora away from me; but I found I was too numb to care.
My parents died when I was only fifteen, barely months from being sixteen.
When I first heard it had been in a car crash, my first thoughts were 'how cliché', I'll admit. So many people died in a car crash everyday. But it was one of those things you never expected to happen to you.
My world fell into fragments around me that day. I don't know how I would've…if I would've gone on without Sora to support me.
But then, all too quickly, I lost him too.
Namine and I couldn't carry on living alone, of course. We were far too young, me being fifteen, her being barely fourteen.
Our Aunt Tifa offered to take one of us in, but she couldn't handle us both. She chose Namine.
No-one quite knew what to do with me. Sora suggested that I move in with them. This suggestion was kindly turned down, due to the fact that Sora's house simply didn't have enough room in it for another teen, and his family didn't have enough money to support another child, especially seeing as they had Yuna to care for.
And so there was only one thing left for it. I was sent to Radiant Academy, a boarding school situated in Radiant Gardens, a fourteen-hour gummi-flight from Destiny Islands.
I was forced to leave all my friends, my family, my life, Sora, and start a completely knew one all on my own.
The departure was the worst.
It had finally sunk in that I was never going to see Sora again – at least not for a long time. I had long since grown out of the belief that life was like a fairy tale. I wasn't naïve enough to think our relationship would stay the same over thousands of miles.
And so I gave him something he'd remember forever.
Placing my packed bags down beside the car that would take me to the station, I turned around slowly, ready to bid farewell to my life-long friends.
Roxas, Selphie, Tidus, Wakka, Yuffie, and even Olette and Axel had come to say goodbye. I craned my head, searching for that familiar head of spikes, but found nothing.
Smiling sadly, I bid each of my friend's goodbye personally, giving them a long hug. The departing time drew nearer, and still there was no sign of Sora.
My luggage was placed in the boot. The seconds ticked by.
"Come on, Kairi, we've got to go," Cid, the driver, informed me, tapping his foot impatiently.
"One more minute?" I pleaded. Cid sighed, defeated, nodding as he took his seat in the car.
"One minute," he warned, holding up a finger. I nodded desperately.
"Come on Sora, where are you," I whispered impatiently under my breath. The rest of my friends had gathered under the shade of a tree, chatting amongst themselves, occasionally glancing at me.
And then I saw him: in his canoe, rowing furiously, water splashing onto his face. I held my breath, watching him, silently thanking God.
He reached the dock and jumped out of his boat, not bothering to tie it up before rushing to me, gasping for air.
"K-Kai!" he spluttered, "I'm so sorry I'm late!"
I smiled at him, letting him know he was forgiven. I stepped forward, embracing him tightly, breathing in his familiar smell for the last time.
"I got you something," he whispered into my ear. Pulling away slightly, my eyes widened as I saw what he held in his hand.
A Paupu fruit.
I let out a soft gasp, my face portraying my feelings. "Sora…" I breathed. He placed a hand to my lips, shushing me, his eyes smiling kindly. He then proceeded to break the yellow star shaped fruit in half, giving one piece to me.
"Now I can keep my promise. We'll always be together."
We both bit into the juicy fruit, silently regarding each other as we finished it in a few mouthfuls, never once breaking eye contact.
Cid colourfully informed me that if we didn't leave now, we might as well not leave at all. That sounded wonderful to me.
Knowing that we had a few precious seconds left together, I put my mouth close to his ear.
"I got you something, too."
With that, I quickly brought my lips to his, closing the few millimetres of air, letting our lips finally meet.
Butterflies flew madly in my stomach, my knees felt too weak to hold me up, my brain felt dead. I clung on to him desperately, putting every ounce of emotion I could into the kiss. And he did the same back.
It wasn't particularly long, it wasn't particularly strong, but it was passionate, heartfelt, and it was ours. It was the perfect first kiss. The perfect way to say goodbye.
And then, I left. Leaving him behind. Not to see him again for another two years.
His departing words will stay with me forever. "Remember what you said to me? I'm always with you too. I'll come back to you, I promise."
His second promise.
Stupidly, naively, I responded with, "I know you will."
But he never once did.
Whereas once I had been the happiest girl alive, with everything I could have ever wished for, I now had nothing.
I was an empty shell, my heart and soul lost to me.
A broken silhouette, slowly fading into the shadows.
And then, just as suddenly as my life had been shattered, my world twisted once more.
End of Prologue!
Yay! I really hope you like it! I do!
I actually take a lot of pride in this. I think it's rather cute.
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Tell me whether you think I should continue or not please! And just tell me what you think, in general!
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