BROKEN SILHOUETTES

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters; only the storyline

Authors Note: Oh. My. Freaking. God. Long-ass wait for this update, I know. But jeez, keeping three stories going at once is hard! But yeah…sorry T_T Won't happen again! Anywho, everyone excited about the first Sokai action for a couple gazillion years? Yes? Everyone want me to shut up so they can just go and bloody well read said Sokai? Yes? Very well then…enjoy ^^

Sorry for any spelling errors, to lazy to fix right now T_T"

Thanks so much to all who reviewed! You rock hard at life! :]


***

As Kairi lay peacefully, a knock on the door broke her thoughts; glancing around for Riku, she shrugged and rose to go and answer the door, thinking that it was probably Double-K anyway.

Not bothering to throw on any more clothes, as only close friends ever came to Riku's, she threw the open door, expecting to find her blonde friend standing there.

But instead, she came face to face with a pair of very familiar blue eyes.

***

Chapter 7: Mind Games

All she could do was stare.

A thousand different emotions ran through her as she looked into those eyes, and a thousand different things happened all at once.

Her whole life as she knew it shattered into a million shards, scattering into the dark corners of her mind where she knew she'd never be able to recover them.

Somewhere inside her heart, all those hidden fragments she'd thought she'd lost somehow picked themselves up again and danced with clumsy feet around her head, sending all other thoughts into a silent haze.

Those silent thoughts ran circles round and round her head, each one undistinguishable from the next, each one as insignificant as the next.

And still all she could do was stare.

Her eyes itched to break free of the trance they were locked in, to explore this unfamiliar yet oh so memorable sight with a new gaze, to update all those visions that had only now resurfaced in her mind.

But it was as if her violet orbs were transfixed in this mesmerizing game of tug of war, each party fighting and fighting to reach inside the hidden depths of the others soul, to discover what they could once see so clearly.

Now was not the time for games, Kairi thought; but then, she had always been a very competitive person.

And so she refused to break the eye contact; refused to give in to the seductive urges that were tempting her gaze to look elsewhere. But she had to admit: it was hard.

Not that looking into those cerulean crystals wasn't appealing, though. Oh, it was like a long, overdue heaven to her. For too long had she lingered in her limbo. That cobalt blue, those ocean eyes that lapped gentle waves against her heart, the hidden dark depths beckoning to her seductively, that endless abyss of memories and friendship and –

"Kairi."

All that effort, all those moments wasted being her usual stubborn self – ruined, by a mere word. A word that sent tremors running through her, a word that sent those already wild thoughts into a frantic beat, ravaging at scattered memories.

Kairi. Kairi. Kairi.

That one word repeating itself over and over, pulsing in sync with her enlightened heart, etching its way through the healed scars around her memory.

"Kairi."

But wait; this one sounded different, strange; wrong, somehow. Instead of giving her that amazing sensation of freedom and flight, it merely broke through the other pulse with its harsh sound, slowly bringing her back to reality.

But what was her reality? Everything that she had known; gone. For if her mind was being truthful, and what she was seeing wasn't merely some illusion, then nothing would ever be the same anymore. Once, already, had she been forced to lock away her past; not a chance that she could do it again.

Before she was fully thrust into the confusing game of reality, those spinning emotions became clearer: one more prominent now than the rest.

Anger.

"Kairi, snap out of it!"

Bang. Game Over. New Game. But why couldn't she just reload a saved file? Why did she have to restart every single time? How was that fair?

Maybe because there was nothing worth saving.

"Seriously, Kairi, quit being an idiot!"

"What?!"

Her own voice sounded foreign to her ears, as if she had accidentally chosen to play as the wrong character. Everything about her felt wrong, somehow, as if she was seeing the world through different eyes but was still trapped in her old, disused body. Nothing fit.

She glared for a few moments at the irritating silver haired boy that stood beside her, one arm on her shoulder. Her eyes watched with distaste as he smirked and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her closer.

How had she never noticed the cruel intention of his features anymore? How had she been blind to that evil screen surrounding those aqua eyes?

Oh yeah. She thought it was mysterious.

But had her skin cells changed to? His touch used to be so soft, so comforting, so pleasant and warm. Now, she found it impossible to ignore the cold arrows it rained against her skin, sending icy shudders through to her heart.

What the hell could have changed so much in 10 seconds?

She found the answer right in front of her, literally before her eyes as soon as she turned away from her boyfriend with an unexpected shiver. An answer so expected and yet still so surprising that she didn't quite know what to make of it.

For a few moments, nobody spoke. Those few moments were all it took for Kairi to entirely take in the whole of his appearance, every last detail storing itself in her mind. Unintentionally, of course.

Not much had changed. Those sky blue eyes, as wide and bright as always; those unruly spikes of untamed chocolate hair as messy as always, if slightly lighter in tone; that tanned, unflawed skin in all it's glowing perfection; and those oh so familiar, soft lips, expressing his whole shock at the situation, parted in a similar way to hers…

"It's really you…?" The lips moved, and out flowed the addictive music that sang passion and hatred to her ears. She yearned for more, and yet at the same now wanted nothing more than to reach up and clamp her ears shut, blocking out all foreign sounds that trespassed in her guarded ears.

She gulped, swallowing back the unfamiliar lump that had pushed it's way into her throat. "Yeah," she replied tightly, her voice strained, her eyes darting. "It's me."

Again those lips moved, and she found herself forcing her body to keep restrained; she wasn't sure what, or why, but something was tearing her up inside and pulling her body out of her control.

"Well…isn't this an interesting situation?" Riku stated, a smirk gracing his features. A strange noise, somewhat between a giggle and a sob, escaped Kairi's lips and she found herself biting them together in order to keep quiet.

As the reality of the situation began to sink in, an unfamiliar sense of elation fell upon Kairi. "Sora…?" she whispered, feeling the alien taste of the word on her lips, and relishing in its sweet flavour.

A small smile was planted on her lips as she took in his presence; his real, physical presence. The anger in her began to seep out and the smile grew with the happiness in her.

She couldn't take her eyes off him. She watched as he too observed her, his cobalt eyes wide and staring. She watched his missed features merge to form different expressions: happy, surprised, shocked, disgusted?

This latter emotion was unexpected; Kairi analysed his face in detail, trying to work out the cause for the sudden knot in his eyebrows, tightening of lips, crease in his forehead…and as Riku once again tightened his grip on her, she suddenly realised.

Of course! How could she have been so stupid as to forget that she wasn't exactly dressed appropriately for the public…and not only that, but she was standing in the doorway of her older boyfriend's room.

Oh, yeah. Great first impression.

And this embarrassing realisation brought about the question as to why Sora had come to Riku's doorway: it didn't make sense that he was looking for him, but then how could he have known that Kairi would be there?

But Riku decided to take hold of the reigns and as usual, pulled everyone around to look at him.

"So, Sora," he began conversationally, "I've been expecting you."

Sora's eyes widened; Kairi's jaw dropped. "You have?" Sora replied curiously, his tone laced with surprise. "H-how did you know?"

Riku shrugged. "I have my ways."

And all the while, Kairi looked between the two, feeling a sudden wave of rejection at the realisation that Sora had in fact never come for her; but for Riku.

Trying as hard as she could to ignore the fact that it was Sora standing right there in front of her, so close she could reach out and touch him, Kairi turned to face Riku, her expression incredulous. "What the hell is going on?"

Riku smirked again, shrugging as he motioned towards to brunette. "Why not ask Sora over here?"

Kairi dragged her eyes over to Sora's, who was looking right back at her with such an intense mix of emotions that she found it almost painful. Embarrassed, she dropped her gaze and fiddled nervously with her fingers.

"I'm not the only one with some explaining to do," Sora muttered coldly, face turned away in disgust. Kairi's eyes widened as she looked up at him, a flash of hurt streaking across her usually so composed face.

This hurt was replaced with the anger she had earlier felt. Anger at the world for upturning her whole life with something so, so – simple. Why did he have to come back now of all times? Now when she had just found some new? Why did he have to ruin everything that she had built? Who gave him the power to destroy a life with his mere presence?

"Shut up!" she hissed suddenly, her fists balling up. "What do you know? You think you can just waltz back into my life like this…well you can't! Stop pretending like you know how things are when you don't! You don't know anything!"

She felt hot angry tears sting at her fiery eyes, but she refused to let them escape. Shooting one last angry glance at Sora, whose face was hidden, she spun round and flung herself into the room, slamming the door shut behind her.

Leaning against the door, she let out deep angry breaths, squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she let herself slide down to a crouch on the floor.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid…" she muttered irritatingly to herself, slowly hitting the back of her head against the door. Now that she was alone, she felt those tears prick harshly at her eyes; she rubbed them forcefully, refusing to cry over a stupid boy.

Her insides were in turmoil; she hated how he still seemed to have this affect on her, and all it took was his presence. She hated that going on with life normally after seeing him was an impossibility. She hated the unpredictability he brought, the untrusting sense she got of her feelings…how come everything felt so wrong, and yet at the same time so right?

She let a sigh escape her lips, resting her head gently against the doorframe now. Closing her eyes, she worked on soothing her angry breaths, inhaling softly.

Through this process, her ears managed to pick up the sound of the two boys talking quietly outside. Ears pricking in interest, she turned herself to face the door, pressing her ears against it.

"…so what exactly did you come here for then?" she heard Riku ask; the smirk on his face was evident through his tone.

"I dunno…just wanted to meet you, I guess. It felt weird to know about you and yet never have met you in person," came Sora's reply. Kairi scrunched her eyebrows in confusion; what in destiny were they talking about? How the hell did Sora and Riku know of each other?

"Well, here, you've met me. You can go now. Nobody wants you here; especially not her."

Kairi's eyes narrowed. She didn't particularly like being referred to as 'her', thank you very much. And who was he to decide who she could or couldn't see? She made a mental note to have a word with Riku later. Pushing these thoughts aside, she pressed her head closer, eager to hear Sora's reply, her curiosity overwhelming her.

Sora scoffed; Kairi could picture him winding his hands around the back of his head; it had always been a habit of his. "Oh yeah? And how would you know? You've only known her for what, two years? I've kinda known her my whole life. Beat that."

For some strange reason, Kairi felt her heart glow as she heard Sora stick up for her. She had wanted nothing more than to jump up and strangle Riku at his previous words, but Sora had caused that violent desire to fade.

"Oh, you must be so proud!" Riku scoffed sarcastically. "But let me just remind you of something, shall I? Who was the one who ditched her and ignored her for two years? Oh yeah…I think that would be you."

And there it was; that one simple reason and that previous anger returned. Riku was right; who the hell gave that stupid hedgehog the right to just waltz back as if everything was the same, when it evidently wasn't?

"Shut up," she heard Sora mutter darkly in reply. "You don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh, well why don't you tell me then? Tell me why you thought it would be okay to ignore her calls, texts, emails? To make no contact? To break her heart?"

There was a moment of silence that beat it's powerful wings at Kairi; she swallowed, unsure if she wanted to hear his answer.

"I didn't – I couldn't…"

And that was enough to help her make her decision; no, she didn't want to hear his answer. To listen to whatever pathetic excuse he would make on the spot. To hear why he completely forgot about her and her feelings and their promise.

A promise that had actually been put back into motion now, she realised. And this realisation came with a bitter taste; why give her everything she had been dreaming of 2two years after she had initially dreamed it?

And so Kairi pushed herself from the floor forcefully, flinging herself across the room and to the bathroom, where she locked herself, breathing heavily.

Why, why, why? Endless unanswerable questions ran through her mind, putting her thoughts in turmoil. She wrapped her arms around her head as she sank to the floor, squeezing her eyes tightly shut, blocking out the reality she was engulfed in.

What was this? This aching, pain in her chest that she couldn't quite identify, but recognized instantly from years before. How familiar it was, yet at the same time so unknown. She had forgotten how much it hurt, how literal it was.

She hated it. Hated it with a burning passion that intensified with each shallow breath she drew in. Hated herself, hated him, and hated life. Stupid life which never seemed to go as planned. Stupid life which flung her in too many different directions until she had no control of the reigns whatsoever and no idea of where she was or who she was.

But what was that other strange glow hidden behind her eyes? That strange sense of elation that she also sort of recognized? That feeling which brought one very prominent memory to the front of her mind…

No. No more thinking about the past. About the stupid past that was gone, left behind, forgotten.

But, Kairi thought curiously, why push it away when it had just pushed its way back in? And not just back into her mind; back into her actual reality. Shouldn't she embrace it then? Because it was her present now; it was her life. If she couldn't accept it, where would she be?

For no longer did she allow herself to live in the past; she had learnt to stop doing that long ago. But then now her present was just like that, just like a ghost coming in and disrupting it all. And she didn't like that. She didn't like the chaos that collision would bring. But then, her future was no place for her to dwell either. A future that was no entirely out of her hands; a future where she had no idea of what to expect. Would it be with him, without him…?

And oh, how she hated that no matter what direction she took now, he would be there. He walked all paths, and she had no idea of how to escape him. And worst of all, she had no idea whether she wanted to escape him.

She had spent so longer preparing herself for this moment, and she had really thought that she had gotten to the point where seeing him would be no big deal. Where she would be able to control herself and her thoughts.

Oh, how wrong she had been. She was in deeper than she had ever thought.

She thought she had gotten rid of those feelings. Not just hidden them in a dark, unused corner of her heart; but literally thrown them out and locked the doors to her mind. It appeared she had been quite mistaken; the feelings seemed to have lingered, and instead of her new life replacing them, it had rather concealed them, deluding her mind.

One question stood prominent against the tangle of 'why's' and 'how's', and that question was 'what'? What to do next? What to do about that stupid brunette porcupine that was stood not just in the same town as her, but in the same building.

She could ignore him. Ignore him just like he had spent so long doing. Ignore his presence and merely resume life as normal until he went away again.

But is that what I really want? Kairi thought to herself, doubted. For doing so would just be a step down for her; doing exactly what she hated, exactly what had made her so miserable over the past 2 years. Did she really want to inflict that sort of pain upon someone, no matter how much pain they had caused her?

No, was the answer. And anyway; she wasn't a coward. She wasn't one to run away as soon as the going got tough. She was determined to tough it out, to get past the temporary obstacle. For now that he had tainted all her past, present and future, there was no way to truly escape him.

She might as well embrace him.

And as the thought of holding him in her arms as she had once done so lightly, that strange knot in her throat pushed it's way up, the hot liquid tears at her eyes pooling out in ribbons down her pale face.

"Sora…" she whispered faintly to herself, testing the name on her lips, pressing her lips together and clenching her hands together, heart drumming in her chest. If she was going to survive his presence, she'd need to learn how to say his name without feeling like fainting.

"Sora," she repeated, her voice slightly stronger, less shaky, but with all that same emotion hidden behind that one word. "Sora, Sora, Sora, Sora…"

It was getting better. She could actually say it coherently now, without sounding like she had some strange form of laryngitis, or some phobia of speaking. Maybe this wouldn't be as hard as she had thought.

"Sora," she continued, triumphant at her achievement, her voice getting louder and stronger and louder and stronger. "Sora. Sora. Sora. Sora!"

"What?"

A cold breath of air suddenly rushed through Kairi, turning her to ice, her posture remaining fixed in a look of shock, horror, embarrassment and anger. Feeling the air leak out of her lungs, she fought to keep her eyes away from the doorway where she knew she would find him.

For that velvet voice had once again sent her insides alight with a passionate fire, sending her heart into a drilling beat that intensified with each passing moment of silence.

And that fire inside of her slowly started to melt away the ice that had blanketed her skin, her senses moving back into motion, colour suddenly rushing to her skin and forcing her body to move instantaneously.

"Sora!" she huffed heatedly, rising to her feet and pulling at her loose shirt uncomfortably, eyes darting nervously. "Wh-what do you want?"

"Uh," he answered nonchalantly, his lips twitching at one corner to form a crooked smile, "You called me?"

"I did not!" Kairi protested immediately, folding her arms across her chest and marching around Sora, who was leant against the doorframe of the bathroom.

"Then why were you saying my name so much?" Sora wondered, looking at her curiously, his encapsulating gaze managing to break through and penetrating hers, keeping it locked in position.

"Um…" she stuttered, all coherent thoughts surging from her mind in an instant, her violet orbs locked onto his cobalt ones, the breath being knocked out of her; how was she ever supposed to grow used to looking into those oh so amazing eyes?

"Yes, Kairi," a cold voice intruded, ordering her gaze to tear away from Sora's, "Why were you saying his name?"

Kairi's disappointed gaze now fell upon Riku, standing in the centre of the room, disapproval plastered across his tight features. His posture was stiff, and Kairi couldn't help but compare how contrary it was to Sora's.

"Oh…I – I was just, you know…" she stammered, fixing her eyes upon a spot on the wall. "I was just…"

"Just what?" Riku persisted, his lips pressed into a thin line.

Kairi shrugged feebly, her long slender fingers fiddling with the hem of her shirt. "I was just practising…" she whispered numbly, trying very hard to ignore the incisive gaze she could feel upon her back.

"Freaking hell," Riku muttered darkly, "He's been here five minutes and already you're trying to get it on with him."

"No, Riku!" Kairi flared up angrily, raising her eyes to glare at the pale boy, "I was just saying his name, okay? It didn't mean anything! Stop being so bloody defensive, already! You know you're my boyfriend!"

As the words slipped out of her lips, Kairi immediately regretted them. She hadn't meant it in that way at all; the reason she had spoken up with such anger was because of the sudden compulsive urge she had gotten to defend Sora. But with her wording, it sounded more like she was defending herself, and even Riku.

Great. Now Sora would think she was a selfish, cold-hearted bitch.

But Riku seemed to be appeased. Fantastic. Just the person she had been aiming for. He smirked confidently, running a hand through his silver hair.

"Whatever you say, babe," he replied jeeringly, his gaze flicking to the boy who stood behind her. "You're right; I am your boyfriend."

Kairi sighed, jutting her lip out in disapproval, eyes narrowing at her boyfriend who could only smirk in reply. Rolling her eyes, she summoned her guts and twisted around to face Sora, who stood obediently where she had left him.

…albeit, with a slightly less cheerful demeanour.

His icy glare knocked all breath out of her; what had she done to deserve such hatred directed towards her? He was the one who had come back without warning after two freaking years!

"Uh…Sora?" she stuttered, biting her lips nervously; as she spoke, she realised she may need more practise; the name still fell out in a sort of alien squeak, sending those same tremors through her captivated body.

She received no reply; he resumed to glower onwards frostily, his usually warm eyes piercing. She shuffled uncomfortably, shifting from foot to foot as she pondered upon what to do next.

Oh, how she detested this confusion! How much easier life had been where every step was simple, requiring no particular thought. And already, five minutes into this tricky new game of reality, she found herself balancing on a knife edge where particular attention and thought was vital to every new movement she may or may not make.

Shutting her eyes briefly to block out the hazardous images and gain a clearer perspective, she spoke up lightly, directing her speech at Riku.

"Could you leave us alone for a moment please?"

But both Sora and Riku seemed to have mistaken her meaning; Sora instantly moved to walk past her, head hung low, cold expression fixed upon his face. Riku stepped to one side, holding out his arms towards the door.

"No," Kairi shook her head immediately, automatically reaching out with one hand, before abruptly placing it to her side. "No," she repeated. "I meant…I meant could Riku please leave for a moment?"

There was a moment of confused clarity; Sora stopped hesitantly, one foot hovering above the floor in deliberation; Riku turned to face Kairi, raising one eyebrow as he brought his arms back down.

"What?" Both boys asked in unison, for once the same expression plastered upon their faces; Kairi didn't allow her gaze to linger upon Sora for anymore than 1 second, though, keeping her eyes fixed onto Riku's.

"Just for a minute, please," she repeated, a sense of underlying final authority lining her tone. She cocked her head to one side, raising an eyebrow as she placed her hands on her hips. "Well?"

A flash of irritation swept across Riku's face, before being replaced with that familiar trademark smirk. "Sure thing, babe," he purred in reply, sidling up to her as he snaked his hands around her thin waist. Kairi stiffened, leaning away from his touch, a feat which Riku either didn't notice or chose to ignore; Kairi had a feeling it was the latter. "Goodbye kiss, though?"

Kairi sighed, turning her face away from his by a fraction; she knew he was only doing this because Sora was there, but she didn't want to give said boy the satisfaction of knowing that he had changed her feelings for her boyfriend so.

Cringing inwardly, she turned back to Riku, plastering a smile on her lips before leaning forward to peck him lightly. She widened her eyes in surprise as Riku wound a hand through her hair, pulling her lips against his into a much more forceful kiss.

She at first protested, reaching out to remove Riku's hand, before realising what a cowardly thing that would be to do; instead, she leant into the kiss, wrapping her own arms around his neck as she one used to do with such passion; now, it felt nothing less than dirty and disgusting.

It was as if Sora had brought back the part of her that she had left behind; the part that actually made sense. And she wasn't quite sure whether this was a good thing or not.

Eyes closing, out of comfort more than anything, she suddenly wished she had eyes on the back of her head; she was dying to know what Sora's reaction was.

But then irritation pulsed through her as she felt Riku's hands snake their way lower down her back; eyes snapping open, she immediately pulled away, glaring.

"Riku," she hissed sharply, wiping her lips. "That's quite enough."

Riku shrugged, still smirking as his eyes wandered. "Alright. See you in a bit. I'll be waiting for you in your room, Kai."

Kairi exhaled sharply at his tainted use of her nickname; he knew that it had something to do with Sora; why was it that he felt so threatened by this boy that he would stoop to such low measures that would hurt even her?

Oh, yeah. The whole drunken 'I love Sora' thing. Whatever.

As he brushed across the room to the door, he turned to Sora, smirking. "Don't get too excited, bro," he commented sarcastically, before turning to shut the door loudly behind himself.

Kairi sighed thankfully, a wave of relief rushing through her, running a hand through her tangled mess of red hair. But since when did Riku call people 'bro'? Kairi assumed it must have been some name he had picked up from the boys.

And then, taking a deep breath, swallowing the huge lump that had pushed it's way into her throat, Kairi slowly turned to face Sora, eyes squeezed shut, unaware of what to expect.

There were a few moments of silence, filled only by Kairi's ragged breaths; as she willed her eyes to open, she tried to prepare herself for what she might see. Would he be smiling? Frowning? Glaring? Would he even be there at all? Oh, God, what if he had had enough of the whole thing and just -?

Her latest worried queries were easily resolved by his calm, quiet voice, echoing heavenly in her ears.

"Are you ever going to look at me?" he asked, his musical voice low and musing, singing bliss to her soul.

Kairi nodded, her reactions coming slowly and yet in sharp, ragged jerks. Biting her lip, she raised her head and tried to picture him standing there, with his arms folded behind his head like he always used to, blue eyes bright and twinkling, small crooked smile perched on his lips…

Two years she had dreamt of seeing him like that again. Two years she had pictured his face over and over and over. And now, he was here. So instead of wasting time, it would be most practical to make the most of every second, right?

And so she snapped open her violet orbs, which instantly drew themselves to his own blue ones, as if there was some unique sort of magnetic attraction between them.

But she quickly found that those eyes were not twinkling, and that mouth wasn't smiling, and that posture wasn't relaxed. Quite the opposite, in fact.

His eyes were stormy and narrow, glaring at her through slits. His hands were balled into fists tightly by his side, and his mouth pressed into a thin line. How did this image match that soothing voice she had heard mere moments ago?

"S-Sora?" she stammered out, confusion etching her features.

Sora shook his head slightly, exhaling sharply. "You've changed…" he said lowly after a few moments.

Kairi raised an eyebrow; really, what did he expect? That she was exactly the same as she had been two years ago? News flash: she wasn't the only one who had changed!

"Yeah?" she retorted snappily, own eyes narrowing, "What did you expect? It's been two years! I'm not the naïve fifteen year old I was back then."

"I know that!" Sora replied immediately, anger tainting his tone. "I know. Nor am I. I just didn't expect you to turn into such a – such a…" he wavered off, wrinkling his nose as he gestured towards her with an arm, "Such a slut!"

Kairi felt her mouth drop to the ground in astonishment. What did he just call her? Who did he think he was, judging her by appearance? He had become exactly the sort of person they had always used to detest.

"E-excuse me?" she choked, reeling in anger. "What did you just say?"

"Slut," Sora repeated, "Would you like me to explain to you what one is?"

Kairi ground her teeth together in frustration, her forehead creasing as she clenched her fists tightly, knuckles turning white.

"I am not a slut," she growled slowly, breathing deeply.

"Oh yeah? Then why are you wearing nothing but your – your boyfriend's shirt and some underwear? In his room? Care to explain?" Sora queried, his tone smothered with distaste.

Kairi rolled her eyes, dragging her hands through her long auburn hair, sighing. "Look, Sora," she began, her voice slow and clear, "Please, don't make the mistake of judging me like you just did. It won't get you very far, that's for sure."

Sora laughed humourlessly. "Oh, really? I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but come on! What do you expect me to think? DO you have any idea of how it looks? How wrong and disgusting it looks?"

Fire rose inside the petite redhead once more as she let out a sharp gasp. "What ? Even if I was doing what you think – which I assure you I was not – who are you to say it's wrong? I'm seventeen, for Chrissake! I'm not a kid anymore! It's been two years – a lot can change in that time, you know."

Sora glanced away, eyes roaming aimlessly around the room. "I know," he replied quietly, "I just…I never expected to see you again so soon."

Kairi folded her arms across her chest jerkily, feeling a sudden wave of nausea wash through her. Her eyes fell to her feet, joining her heart and soul.

"Then why are you here?" she asked lowly, her voice a mechanical monotone that didn't seem to belong to her. She fought to uphold her composure, scared to reveal the tangle her insides were in.

Sora shrugged, sighing as he ran a hand though his unruly brunette spikes. "I – I came to see him. Your - your boyfriend. Whats-his-name."

"Riku?" Kairi clarified incredulously, returning her gaze to her old best friend, heart stuttering wildly. "W-why are you here to see him?"

"He's my…uh. He hasn't told you?"

Kairi shook her head slowly, arching her eyebrows. "Told me what?"

Sora swallowed nervously, eyes darting as he chewed his lower lip. "Um, see, Riku…he's kind of my -,"

A convenient interruption came in the form of a sharp rap on the door. Sora exhaled in relief; Kairi in frustration. Shooting a look at the brunette, she turned to the door impatiently, pulling it open hastily.

"Yes?"

"Um…" an elderly, frail woman stammered nervously, knuckles white as she clutched a mop in her hands, a trolley of cleaning equipment lined up behind her. "I'm here to c-clean the room?"

"Oh, right yeah," Kairi muttered nonchalantly, eyes glancing to the trolley. "Sure thing."

Wandering back into the room, Kairi waltzed over to Sora and stood facing him, merely inches away. She pushed away the excited shivers that had overcome her, silencing her thudding heart and blaming her red cheeks on her anger.

"You," she hissed menacingly, "Are coming with me!"

Grabbing him by the arm, ignoring the tingly jolt that shot through her at the contact and oblivious to his burning cheeks, Kairi pulled him out of the room and lead him through the corridors and to her own room in a silent haze.

Kairi knew Riku wouldn't actually be at her room; he had only said that to try and make Sora jealous. Fiddling with her lock, she resisted the urge to glance up at Sora every few seconds, instead attempting to clear her misted mind.

Freeing the door, she pushed it open and lead Sora inside, slamming the door behind her and throwing her keys on her desk.

She immediately went over to her closet, grabbing a pair of pink shorts and pulling them on, wrapping the shirt tighter around herself.

Done with this, she finally turned to face Sora, arms folded across her chest, face expressionless.

"Continue," she said, breaking the silence with her drone.

Sora, however, chose to ignore her. He wandered across the room to between where the two beds stood, kneeling down and reaching to pick something up off the floor. Kairi watched him in confusion, wondering what he was doing.

As he turned around, Kairi managed to catch the brief flash of hurt his face betrayed; he was quick to discard it though, replacing it with a bored expression. It seemed that Kairi wasn't the only closed book around here.

"What is it?" she asked, mimicking Sora with his feigned boredom. Said boy was silent for a few moments, gazing at whatever he held in his right hand.

Sora spoke up just as Kairi was about to repeat her statement. "You – you still have this," he said quietly. Kairi arched an eyebrow, walking over to him hesitantly.

Gulping, she peered into his open hand, eyes widening as she saw what he held. Of course. She had never picked up that thelassa shell charm that she had discarded on the floor when the dorm master had interrupted her.

"Oh….yeah," she answered casually, not wanting to make a big deal out of something she knew actually meant a whole lot more than it may have appeared to some people. "Found it lying around the other day…"

Sora chuckled lowly, hand tightening around it. "Thanks…I guess."

Kairi smirked, shrugging. "No problem, babe."

At this, Sora immediately sighed, rolling his eyes. "Don't call me 'babe'," he muttered in annoyance, throwing the star shaped charm onto the unmade bed.

Kairi gulped as guilt overwhelmed her. Guilt? Why was she feeling that? She had no reason to feel guilty; what had she done but call him something she called most other people? She had meant no offense; but Kairi knew that she had only done it to hide her real feelings; the real her. She was already finding it far too hard to be her real self around him.

"Sorry…" she said automatically, glancing up at him apologetically. His forehead smoothed, eyes lightening as he read the truth in her words. He nodded once in response.

There were a few moments of awkwardness in which they regarded each other silently, each taking in the others presence. They stopped, blushing, when violet found blue, meeting in a spark of electricity.

"Why are you here, Sora?" Kairi finally asked, sighing. "After two years of no contact whatsoever…why did you suddenly decide to turn up?"

Sora glanced away, biting his lip nervously. "I – I didn't mean to ignore you," he said apologetically, copying Kairi's previous tone. "Honestly, I didn't. But sometimes…well, life happens."

Kairi tilted her head to one side. "I'm not sure I understand."

Sora shook his head dismissively. "It doesn't matter. That's not important now. What is important is that…" he sighed deeply. "Is that you're here, right now. You're actually, really here…Kairi…"

The emotion and strength behind his words matched Kairi's exactly. Her eyes turned glassy, gazing at him with such unreadable intensity.

"I've missed you so much!" she burst out, unable to contain herself. Her body was only so big; it could only hold so many emotions. She found herself out of control, acting on impulse as her arms instinctively reached to wrap around his neck, pulling herself closer to him and inhaling that missed scent.

She half expected him to pull away, but he never did. He returned the hug with as much strength, his own strong arms winding around her small frame, burying his face atop her head.

It felt so right, being in his arms again. She felt as if she had been transported back to two years ago, back to the mind of that young, head over heels in love fifteen year old. Everything was bright, everything was exciting, and fresh, and new. Everything was perfect.

Except it wasn't.

For there was still the minor problem of something called reality. Her world and his were in two separate galaxies altogether. Yes, they had once been one, but things were different now. Everything was different.

A relationship that had once been so strong and stable was now weak and vulnerable. Who was to say it would manage to survive these new conditions? There was no way she could expect things to go back to normal when nothing was normal. She couldn't change time.

He was different, she was different, and their worlds were different. They were the broken pieces of a puzzle that had once made perfect sense. What if they messed it up again when trying to piece it back together? What if, somewhere along the way, they lost their way?

What if she ended up even more broken than she already was?


Omggg. You have no idea how hard that was to write. I've had so little inspiration….but then, I suddenly got enough to write this! But still…it was hard o.O

I hope you enjoy it anyways, I really do! I had to update, this chapter was wayyy overdue! But at least I had my besty twinny friendy Jennifer to pull me out of my temporary hiatus with our zilllion hour conversations and mile long emails :D Kudos to simplyjennxD !!! :3

Please, lovely comments would be greatly appreciated…I'd really like to regain that awesome motivation so I can write this story properly and on time :]

Lovveeeeesss! xox