Chapter 12: Misunderstanding

Previoulsy: I took the menu gratefully and was about to scan the contents when suddenly my eye caught something in far corner. Something that made my heart freeze and my throat wither.

Roxas and Aqua sitting at a table together.

I swear the sight of the two of them together like that, almost made my heart stop. I know it was ridiculous with everything had been happening between us-these happenings, of course, not being all that great- to even be remotely upset...But a part of me still ached at seeing them like that. Alone. Together at a semi-fancy restaurant, almost as if on a...on a, I choked the word out mentally, date.

And what of coursemade this entire situation even worse was when he spotted me and Riku at the other end of the room. The corners of his mouth lifted up in an amused lopsided smile as his eyebrow arched expectantly. I pretended not to notice. Yet, as always the burning gaze he cast on me was painful even after only a few seconds, and I couldn't help but turn away with a blush of utter mortification.

Although, Riku didn't seem to notice any of this exchange, or my increasing stiffness. He simply carried on obliviously prattling on, seeming convinced that this actually was a two way conversation and not him just talking to himself. I was glad that he hadn't noticed my lack of participation or at least if he had, he was letting it slide.

I glanced back at my menu as a method of concealing myself from his probing stare despite the fact that I knew he was still staring at me. Waiting for acknowledgement. A chance to humiliate me further. I couldn't let it happen. After all, if I let myself fall into his little game again how long would I be stuck again? I had to stay focused, and remember my feelings weren't important. It was whatever secret he was hiding that was.

I exhaled, continuing to concentrate on the menu. Salads, entrees, appetizers, soups.....blue eyes burning invisible holes through my back.....I inhaled deeply again.

Our waiter came back after a couple of minutes, a still slightly perturbed expression on his face from me nearly knocking him face first into the dessert cart-- that or he just wasn't in the best mood. I laughed to myself, yeah it definitely wasn't the latter of the two.

I cautiously lifted my eyes to meet the waiter's, making sure not to unintentionally meet hisin the process. "Spaghetti, please." I tried giving a apologetic smile, but the waiter ignored my rather pathetic attempt, only curtly nodding his head before taking Riku's order and hurrying down the aisles to another table.

I sighed staring vacantly to the side of the room. The clock that hung overhead ticked by idly and I couldn't help but feel trapped. Involuntarily, my fists clenched around the striped table cloth. Riku noticed.

"Something the matter?" His eyebrows crinkled together in a thin worry line.

I shook my head, attempting to lift the corners of my mouth int a reassuring smile, despite the fact that I knew I failed miserably, "...No...just thinking...that's all."

Riku nodded and smiled, completely buying my poor lie, "You know, I'm really glad you agreed to have dinner with me."

"Hn?" My answer came out sounding almost hazy. My mind was far off from this conversation already. In fact my mind was over a few tables, at theirtable. I couldn't help it, really. It just seemed so odd. Roxas and Aqua. Together. I mean sure I knew Aqua had feelings for him but Roxas reciprocating those feelings? It seemed so...bizarre. Or at least to me anyway. The two of them together, alone like this. So bizarre that my heart began to ache and I mentally cursed it for doing so.

We hardly knew each other. He was always making cryptic remarks. He's lied to me and most importantly out of all these points: I just can't have feelings for him I can't. He's already unattainable, and plus I'm not pretty enough, or cute enough or....

"Namine! Are you even listening to me?"

My head, which had been drooping in despair, shot up. So much for not noticing.

"I-I...I'm sorry. I'm just a little tired today that's all." I laughed nervously, hoping he'd believe me.

Of course, my life could never be so simple.

"Thinking about that Strife kid again maybe?"

My breath caught, "W-What are you talking about?"

Riku snorted, "You know what I'm talking about. I see you looking over at their table like every five seconds."

My face flushed and I tried to remove my gaze from his by focusing on the glowing light fixtures above. "I was not." It was a stupid, childish response but admittedly I didn't have a better one.

Riku rolled his tropical colored eyes, "Tch, yeah sure. Look, I just don't get what you see in that guy. He can do a few fun little tricks in the air and smile pretty. That's it."

I bit my lip, secretly glancing towards his table. I caught his coy, highly amused smile and my blush resurfaced. It was like he knew what was going on. The thought made my blush deepen, and yet at the same time added to my fury towards his cryptic attitude. The furious side of wanted to retaliate his smug expression with a deadly expression of my own. The only thing that stopped this revenge plot was his oh-so-kind companion's death glare which inevitably killed not only my blush but extinguished my fury and confidence as well.

My eyes dashed back to Riku's and though not trusting of my own voice, responded with what I mentally prayed was a good enough answer. "Riku, I honestly don't see anything in him. I just think he's a good performer that's all and besides why do you care? It's not like we're going out or anything."

I'll admit the last part might have sounded a little harsh. A bit too tv movie cliche, but really, what right did Riku have to be angry?

Riku's lips formed a sour, bitter frown, "Excuse me, for a minute" The chair Riku had been sitting in, abruptly screeched across the cherry wood floors. Riku, himself, stood up a mask of calm and composure threatening to crack. I briefly grimaced as I noticed the sudden hostility in his face. He obviously didn't take rejection very well, but being Mr. Big-shot for so long really must have inflated his ego a bit too much. He gave me a small forced smile-out of politeness I assume- and briskly made his way to the other end of the room.

I wondered for a moment whether or not this meant I could go home or not. If Riku was truly gone for the rest of the night or if he was going to have some sort of internal battle with himself and then come back in to finish his meal....And pay for the check. It's not that I was that cheap, I mean I would pay if I had to, but considering, he pretty forced me to have dinner with him.....I wasn't all that keen on paying for this meal.

Sighing, I rubbed my temples, mentally trying to calculate how much this meal would cost and how much or rather how little money I had to pay for it. The thought of doing a classic diner dash occurred to me, but then as always guilt resurrected itself and plagued me to no end. I wearily glanced around the room, noticing the amount of din despite Riku's boisterous exit.

Honestly, were these people deaf or did they just not care to witness any uneeded drama unfold as they ate?

"Bounjor, Namine."

I stiffened and closed my eyes. I do not know that voice. I do not know that voice. I do not--

"Namine, I know you can hear me."

Damn it. I do know that voice. I groaned, opening my eyes slowly only to meet two very blue eyes very, very close to my face.

I nearly shrieked tipping my chair over and landing on the ground with a resounding 'THUD!' Roxas laughed. He found this all just hilarious, didn't he?

Brushing myself off, I clenched my fists, facing his still smirking face. "What are you doing here anyway? Don't you have a date to get back too."

Okay, even I'll admit that was a bit more venomous than it needed to be, but in all honesty he was really beginning to get on my last nerve.

Roxas shook his head, completely unfazed by my outburst, "Me? I only came over to act az a witnezz to ze lover's quarrel."

"Lover's....quarrel....?" It took my mind a moment to process the phrase, before of course realization takes the reigns and my anger nearly explodes.

I barked out a laugh, "Me and Riku? Lover's quarrel? Are you kidding me!? I don't even like him!"

"Zen...why did you go out on a date wiz him?" Roxas's voice came out a bit darker than usual. If I didn't know any better I would have thought he actually cared.

"Okay a) he guilted me into it and b) why do you even care? You're dating Aqua so it shouldn't matter to you who I do or don't date, " I answered my voice nearly hitting the next octave in my vocal range. But I couldn't help it. He was just so confusing. So indecisive and so mysterious that I didn't even know what to make of him anymore.

Roxas looked away, his eyes, I noticed, despite their neon color were weighted down with a dark aura. "Aqua and I are not dating, Namine. I have no feelingz for her and...." He paused swallowing, "I do not know why I care...about your affairz. It iz not right zat I do and for zat I apologize."

The words I had planned to retaliate his response with were suddenly stuck. Trapped behind both happiness and again a cloud of confusion. If he didn't know how he felt....and he was actually apologizing? Guilt overtook me, and the irritated expression on my face dissolved.

"I-It's okay....I mean I...I was wondering the same thing about you and....um Aqua," I confessed quietly, a small blush once again plaguing my face.

Roxas smirked, darkness and gone and arrogance returned. "If I didn't know any better, I would zay zat you mademoiselle have a crush on me."

I could see where this game going already. I sniffed, folding my arms across my chest indifferently, "And if I did?"

"I wouldn't care of course, be assured of zat," his tone was teasing but his response couldn't help but elicit an angry scowl from me. He chuckled holding a hand in front of mouth to prevent me from answering with a response of my own."Now, now Namine, "Roxas chided lightly, "let uz not have a quarrel of our own, all zat I wish to azk iz if you have a ride home now zat...zat boy is gone?"

My throat tightened up. Was he offering to drive me home? After he insults me? "What about...Aqua?"

"What about her?"

I shook my head, "How is she going to get home?"

Roxas shrugged, "I will have Terra come pick her up." It was such a simple solution, yet my stomach churned at the thought of how much she would hate me afterwards.

"Um...."

"Just say okay."

I gave a weak nod, "Okay."

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Okay. Updater months. Yep. That is me for ya. The worst updater on face of the earth.

I truydo apologize for such a long wait. I wanted to update sooner but I had a major case of writer's block for this story in addition to a multitude of papers and projects and a broken computer(I'm writing on my mom's business laptop) have all been contributors to the lateness of this update.

I really do hope you can all forgive my lateness and have enjoyed reading Chapter 12 and will maybe drop a word or two in a review? *Smiles hesitantly*