mmm...love holiday oneshots. i hope you do, too.

Disclaimer: I don't own KH yadayadayadayada you know the deal.



[ **Winter Heat~~ ]

kaiora

Ah. Christmas time.

It was the average Christmas over in Destiny Islands. The sun shined just as it did in the months of August and July, the weather was still warm and salty (albeit with a nice, cool breeze), and the ocean was as warm and blue as ever. That was, of course, this morning. Now, it was raining bullets, and frankly, Sora thought, that was just downright unfair.

Anywhere else in the universe that rain would have crystallized into snow. But of course, not here. Not ever. It always took a while to get used to the idea of warm winters, but honestly, Sora didn't really mind. He was just bitter about the sour weather. Because honestly, he was just happy he was finally home.

It was Sora, Kairi, and Riku's first Christmas together since the whole heartless-end-of-the-world-oh-okay-now-there-are-nobodies-and-hooded-people-fuck-my-life scenario. They were so thankful to finally be together, they really were. It had been a hard two years, and all they really wanted to do was relax and enjoy each other's company.

And that was exactly what they were doing. Like every other year, Sora, Kairi, and Riku's families made a joint Christmas Eve dinner. This year, it was in Kairi's house, easily the largest of them all, and all was doing well. The families were rejoicing in their children's returns (although unknowing to the fact that they saved the universe, uh, twice. Go figure. Thank-you world order), and throughout the dinner they talked only of happiness and plans during the break.

Once the dinner was over, Riku shot-not-ed washing the dishes or doing any sort of labor on his behalf. The parents were either too engrossed in their conversations of politics, or too drunk to do their share. Or perhaps both, but Sora would never find out, because, naturally, he and Kairi were the only capable ones left to do the dishes.

And that was also why he was so bitter; dishes just weren't his thing. Somehow cleaning up after a family dinner seemed pretty useless after all that he's been through. However Kairi was not too thrilled to do this either, so she made sure she wouldn't go down alone. And because Sora was a sucker when it came to Kairi, he reluctantly agreed.

So this is where Sora found himself now; washing nasty dishes to the right of Kairi, looking out the window at the thinning rain, and wearing an apron around his waist. Fuck his life.

Washing dishes seemed rather stupid compared to killing, oh I don't know, Xemnas, the heart-crazed, orange-eyed man who had no soul. Actually, a lot of things nowadays seemed pretty unnecessary when compared to saving the universe. Like school, definitely school. But it wasn't like he wasn't glad he was here, or that he was depressed. Trust me, he was so happy. Relieved, actually. It was just that he felt so useless and careful all the time. Sora was so used to running around every day, using every ounce of strength he possessed. But here, he had to be careful not to grip stupid things like pencils too hard when the stupid teacher gave him a D on his history essay. Like, really.

All in all, he was content, just a little weirded out by the normality of…well, a normal life.

He blew out a hard breath, a strand of sandy-brown hair rising up, then falling back into place, and looked down at the dishes in his hands. This was so unfair.

"Sora, pass the soap." Kairi said absentmindedly, still scrubbing her plate without looking up.

"Uhh sure." he said, dropping his plate in the stainless steel sink and then looked through countless bottles of cleaning equipment to his right on the counter. "Er…"

Kairi sighed, lifting her eyes for barely a second, slapped Sora's hand away and reached for the bottle with blue liquid that Sora swore wasn't there before Kairi intervened.

"You really know how to make me look stupid." Sora said, diving his hands back into the sink with a bitter look on his face.

"Naw, not stupid, just blind."

"Oh, right, thanks."

Kairi giggled, turning around so she could stack three newly-cleaned plates into her cupboard. Silence passed for a few moment as Sora took a quick, bored look around Kairi's kitchen. It was very nice, especially considering that her adoptive father was the mayor that has been re-elected for years. It had granite countertops and cherry wood drawers and cupboards with a modern twist that was pretty out of place in a place like Destiny Islands. The sink that they were currently working at was a very nice stainless steel with two drains and a fancy water nozzle. A large window lay in front of them with cream colored drapes that were tied to the side, revealing a beautiful view to the backyard and ocean.

Basically, a very, very nice kitchen. Much nicer than his own kitchen, which was a sad comparison to this. Sora wasn't exactly rich, at least not compared to Riku or Kairi; they had it good. He lived in a small two storied house, a tiny bedroom, and, once again, a kitchen that looked utterly sad compared to this.

Not that he was complaining or anything; he loved his home, and money didn't really bother him too much here. So when he really wanted an escape from the claustrophobia, he could always count on coming here and eating apples and peanut butter sandwiches with Kairi on her window seat, enjoying the day's toasty weather.

Sora smiled to himself. He loved coming here. It was like nothing had changed since before everything happened. Like it had halted in time, staying in perfect condition, even as chaos that surrounded it. But it wasn't even really just her house. It was her, Kairi. Somehow, she kept him anchored to reality, teased him 24/7, and often acted like his mother. So much like before when they were fourteen years old and below.

Still, though. It was hard to explain. Even as nothing had changed between Kairi and him, everything had, all at the same time. It was odd, really. Like just a few days ago at the island. They were both goofing off, and playing around with each other on the dock like so many other times before, when things just changed. No, it wasn't like change where the earth split in two, or that she sprouted another head; it was more in depth. He wasn't sure how the mood had started exactly, maybe a brush of the hand or the fact that their feet were only inches from touching, hovering over the water. His memory was clouded with the numbness he was feeling at the time.

Everything had gotten quiet, something that didn't happen too often between them, especially when they were laughing and being random literally a second before, and the mood went into overdrive. Sora remembered feeling very antsy and on edge, adrenaline pulsing through his hot veins for no apparent reason. His stomach had abruptly become uneasy, and suddenly, it had gotten really hard to breath.

He remember wanting to touch her, really badly. Anything would do, really. So that's exactly what he did; he grazed his foot with hers shyly, suggestively. This was, of course, 100% instinct, and he had no idea he had the confidence or the ability before that. But there he was, playing footsie with her during sunset, alone, on the island, on the dock. He also remembered her body freezing up beside him. He immediately thought that was a bad sign. A very bad sign.

But then she responded very quickly, so quickly, that it almost knocked him over. He had never been a very hormonal guy, but my god, when she inched her way toward his hand at the same time that she caressed his foot, his mind went wild, his body on fire. It was probably one of the most exhilarating moments of his life (which was pretty sad if you think about it), that is, of course, ruling out killing two of the evilest guy ever and more.

But still, he had never felt that way. At least, not in that caliber. I mean, he always felt hot a sweaty when in close proximity to her, but wow, was that something. And then, naturally, Kairi then pushed him in the ocean. It was great, really.

Actually, Sora remembered that before he went on his adventure, he was deathly scared of even touching Kairi. And now he was playing footsie with her and holding her hand? Now that's just plain crazy.

Or maybe it wasn't. They both had grown up, and as a result, were much more comfortable around each other, hormones and all. He was taller and stronger, and she was stronger, in a different sense, and, well…sexier. At least in his honest, unbiased opinion.

And he obviously didn't mind these changes, both physical and hormonal. You couldn't have one without the other, I suppose. And maybe that was why they never experienced that before. They were just too young, they didn't even know they had those kinds of feelings. Of course Sora had liked her since forever, but he never had the, well, response that he had now. And because they were older, and were apart for so long, things had definitely changed between them.

So poor Sora was dazed and confused in his own pool of emotions. And it wasn't like he could ask Riku for advice; he would laugh at him. His mother? Bitch please. Wakka and Tidus, well, they might even laugh too.

So he was lost, and really unsure on what to do. Maybe his instincts would kick in again if the moment occurred, somehow pointing him in the right direction.

He fervently hoped so.

Sora finished cleaning off his first big dowl and turned toward and kitchen to blink. "Uhh, Kairi? Which cupboard does this bowl go into?" he asked, looking down at her with an embarrassed smile. Kairi rolled her eyes, detached herself from her cleaning, turned to Sora, and put her hands on her hips, her expression hard.

"Sora."

"Yes?"

"Haven't you been coming here since we were eight years old? And having Christmases since ten?"

"Uhh…yes?"

"Then shouldn't you know where to put a bowl?" Kairi asked as she raised her eyebrows, a playful smile starting to form slowly on her lips.

"No. No, I don't" Sora admitted.

"You're hopeless." She sighed.

"Yeah I know." Kairi glared at him playfully, ripping the bowl away from him, her hands brushing his (not going unnoticed by either of them), and turned around to put the bowl in the cupboard a few doors down.

Sora couldn't stop himself from thinking about how good she looked in her holiday dress. It was black in a cotton sundress style with thin straps. It stopped a-way above her knees and it was very form fitting. Very form fitting indeed.

Suddenly, Sora didn't feel so cool in his outfit that he thought was decent enough to impress her (especially when she claimed he couldn't dress himself in the slightest. I mean, come on, his first adventure outfit? Horrible. And naturally, he put it together. And really, he need three magical fairies to force him to change from his small clothes into his new one. I mean, c'mon, fairies). All he was wearing was a nice blue button down dress shirt that he thought looked good on him in the store when his mother dragged him there three days ago, and dark jeans that weren't too tight, and weren't too baggy. Even when he took special attention in his mirror this morning, feeling pretty confident, all that crumbled very quickly at how gorgeous she was.

She finally turned around, shaking her head in amusement and then stared at him quizzically. "Sora, are you blushing?"

"Uhh…no!" he said, turning quickly away from her and started with the dishes again.

"Yes you are. And why are you doing that exactly?"

"I'm telling you, I wasn't -- am notblushing now." he said, trying very hard to concentrate on his work. However she was making it difficult. This was both because she was very stubborn, and also because she was standing quite close to him, looked accusingly up at him. She was having her fun at his expense. So typically Kairi.

"Really? No one blushes out of nowhere. You must have been thinking something. What were you thinking, Sora?" she was looking very angry right now, and it wasn't hard to imagine what she presumed his thoughts were. And of course he couldn't tell her it was because standing in the very room with her being so gorgeous and beautiful made him anxious.

"Yeah well I do, okay?"

"So you were blushing?"

"Gah! Will you stop it already?" he said, finally turning around so that he was standing right over her, glaring down at her. Her expression was both annoyed and disappointed as she stared up at him, hands on her hips, and he couldn't fathom why.

"Fine." she snapped, whipped her hair around so that it nearly smacked him in the face, and turned around to work, her face out of sight and standing two feet away from him. He sighed and focused on his work as well.

It was very silent after that. His angry façade was wearing away very quickly as the silence pressed on. No, he must not forgive her. Be the stronger guy! Don't be such a little girl! She was the one who started it in the first place.

He tried, he really did try, but he couldn't stay angry, not at her, even when she is purposely annoying and picky at him.

"Ugh, fine, come on Kairi, I'm sorry."

"That's not much of an apology."

"Aw…ugh, jeez, Kairi!" he wailed dropping his into the sink dishes to look at her. She however, did not drop her focus and was scrubbing probably harder than necessary.

"I'm still waiting."

Sora sighed again, and then did something he hadn't done ever in his life. But it didn't seem wrong to do at all. He reached for her waist with one hand and pulled her closer to him, instead of the two foot gaping hole that was there before.

While he was doing this, he said, "Okay Kairi, I'm sorry. I really am." he wasn't currently clear on what he was apologizing for though. This was half because, as far as he could recall, she was the one pestering him, and the other half was because that adrenaline things was kicking in again, making his blood boil at their contact. It was like electricity shooting through his nervous system, but in a nice way, if that were possible.

Kairi responded with a jump and wide eyes, losing her own focus as she stared into his big, blue, smothering eyes. "Uhh…" Now it was her turn to stutter.

Sora smiled, "You know you're really spoiled, you can get anything you want out of me."

"Really." she stated doubtfully, sarcasm hidden in her tone. Her one eyebrow raised, aware of the fact that her feet were between his now, his chest barely over an inch away.

"Oh yes."

"Hmm…" she said playfully, staring up at him with amusement. He smiled for a moment, and then he smirked.

"Oh! What is this? Kairi is the one blushing now? Aw, how sweet."

Kairi's eyes grew wide, "What?! No I wasn't!"

"I believe you were. Now tell me Kairi, what were you thinking? Because, you know, someone wise once told me that someone can't blush without thinking about something." Her cheeks only flamed in response. She could not tell him it was because of the small space, or lack there of, between herself and his inviting body and scent.

"Aw how cute." he said playfully, taking his hand off her waist and reaching both his hands to pinch her hot cheeks. She glared and swatted them away. And, naturally, both his hands fell back down to her hips. They were flaming hot right now, teenage hormones burning strong through their veins. But they didn't let it get quiet enough to even consider it.

"Oh please."

"Oh please, what, Kairi?"

"As in, oh please you're being ridiculous."

"Oh, I don't know, you're the one being ridiculous. Actually, you look a little anxious. You alright there, Kairi?" he said grinning stupidly. She glared.

"Oh stop."

"Stop what? This? What…am I making you nervous?" he said, quite huskily, he noted, and leaned down closer to her.

"N-no."

Sora burst out laughing and then grinned down at her. "You know I'm starting to think that not only will I do anything for you, but also vise-versa."

"And why do you think that?" Kairi said, smiling slightly up at him, her knees feeling very weak with this amount of contact. And plus, Sora had never acted this way before, really. She kind of liked it.

"Because I can tell." he said softly, his hot breath fanning her face with a wave of butterflies.

"Fine then. If you really think so, prove it. Ask me something." Kairi said breathlessly. She was almost certain what was about to come out of this, and so did he, but they weren't scared or hesitant at all. It felt too natural to be awkward.

His eyes were burning now, a fire she had never seen before. "Fine then," he grinned, staring down at her.

"Kiss me, Kairi." he said lowly, temptingly. They were both kind of surprised on what he said, but really, was anything surprising at this point? No, I didn't think so.

Kairi's heart skipped a beat. "And why should I?" she said very lowly, almost a whisper as she wrapped her arm loosely around his neck. This seemed to feed his flames.

"Because there is a mistletoe above us right now." he said. Kairi blinked and looked up for a fraction of a second. She furrowed her eyebrows, however still managing to keep a smile on her lips.

"No there isn't, Sora."

"Yeah I know, I just wanted to kiss you."

And so he did, and before they knew it, Kairi was up on the counter, her lovely dress getting soaked, and his lips crushing against hers as he stood between her legs. It was euphoria. No, it was better than euphoria, Sora thought. Better than any potion after a hard battle, any decisive victory, or any cold Coca-Cola on a hot day. Because if he thought his blood was on fire before, than that was nothing compared to what he was feeling now.

The girl he really, truly, honest-to-god loved was kissing him back right now, and nothing that anyone could do could spoil this moment, this kiss. Because it was perfection, something he had been seeking for so long, without even realizing it.

Oh, wait, no. That was a joke. Riku could spoil the moment. Because he did.

Riku cleared his throat loudly, laughing as he saw his two best friends spring away from each other, both a mess. Sora's hair was everywhere (even more than before), lips swollen with sweet tasting gloss, and his shirt was wrinkled and unbuttoned in some places. Kairi's dressed was ridden up and her hair that she had worked so hard on that morning was now nearly as messy as Sora's. And that was saying something.

Riku grinned, "Wow, I didn't know you two could be so feisty. Warn me next time, okay?" With that, he left the kitchen, laughing so hard he was sure he was going to wet himself. Sora and Kairi just stared after him, eyes wide, and not really sure what to do now.

Yes, Riku really did know how to ruin a moment.

But, Sora thought, there was an upside to this: he now knew what to expect next time they washed dishes.

And Sora would never, ever complain again.

.merry christmas.


soo i hope you like it. i wrote this literally yesterday night after a stroke of inspiration (although i couldn't put it up because my internet failed epically) when I had to clean up Christmas dinner, basically alone. its was great, really.

anyhoo i felt like doing something light and happy for the holidays. so i hope you enjoy. i personally liked it...ive been writing too much drama lately.
my epilogue for Where Tear Drops Fall will hopefully be up tonight.

yayy. not go and review and make me happy :]