Chapter I

. Twilight Town .


I opened the windows of my new bedroom and looked at the surroundings. It was a peaceful town; no traffic, no screamings. This town is defintely better than my hometown.

But.... I miss my hometown.

I sighed. What else can I do? I can't argue with Mom and Dad; I'll get grounded, then my brother will laugh at me. I continued to observe the town. Only the occassional horns of trains could be heard.

"Sora, are you okay?" Dad asked. I sighed and turned around, "You could at least knock." Dad smiled, "The door was open."

Allow me to introduce you guys to my Dad - Cloud Strife. He's an awesome man; the best Dad anyone could ever ask for. I have to admit -- his hairstyle is pretty cool too. Not that I envy him; I've got a similar hairstyle! Anyway, my Dad works at a cafe nearby, which is good cause, y'know.... I get to eat brownies any time I want!

Wait, I introduced my Dad but I didn't introduce myself? Sorry... I'm Sora Strife. Proud son of Cloud Strife and Aerith Gainsborough. I'm only 15 years old. I'm very athletic, but I just hate doing school work. It gives me a headache just thinking about it. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I have the most annoying twin brother in the world.

"Sora!! Where are you?"

Speak of the devil.

My brother came up to my room. He grinned when he saw me. He ran past Dad and played around with my spiky hair. "Sora! Guess what? We're going to Twilight High!!" he shouted. I rolled my eyes, "So?" "You're not fun at all," my brother said. He went to the bed next to mine. "This bed is comfy; I can't believe I'm sleeping on this bed!" he said. I froze.

"Wh-what?" I stammered. "I.. I'm sharing a room.... with him?!" Dad shrugged, "What can we do? We only have two bedrooms after all." I sighed. You see, we just moved from the beautiful, tropical Destiny Islands to the peaceful, clean Twilight Town. Dad says the schools here will improve on my studies. Pfft, yeah right.

"Honey, have you given a tour to the boys yet?" Mom asked, walking up to Dad. Mom saw my worried face and asked, "Is anything wrong, dear?" I bit my lip, "I'll be sharing room with him." Mom smiled, "You'll get used to it."

Him refers to my twin brother -- Roxas Strife. Yeah, he may be taller but I'm older than him!... Two minutes older, actually... Anyway, Roxas is a really, no I mean, really annoying brother. He teases me all the time, especially when I blush in front of a girl. I hope Twilight High is a guys' school.

Mom is Aerith Gainsborough. She... well... Not much to say about Mom, actually. Oh well, just so you know, Mom is really pretty!

"Mom? Dad?" I asked. "Is Twilight High... a guys' school?" Mom and Dad laughed, "No dear. Mixed." My heart skipped a beat on this one.

Roxas jumped up and laughed at me, "There're gonna be girls, and lots of em'! And I bet you'll fall for one...." I glared at my brother. Stupid bitch, why can't you just shut up for a day or so? What's this funny feeling? Oh no, I could feel my face going red all over.. I'm.... blushing!!

"Dad!" I whined like a little child. Dad sighed and gave Roxas a stern look, "Roxas, stop teasing your brother. If he wants a date, it's his business, not yours." Crap. That made me blush even more. Why do I always get that funny feeling in my stomach whenever it comes to girls?

"But Dad, Sora says he's looking for his 'dream girl'!" Roxas said, grinning. That's it; I can't take this anymore! I took my pillow and threw it at Roxas. Unfortunately, though as expected, Roxas easily dodged the pillow. Dad sighed, "No fighting now."

I looked over at Mom -- she was giving me a very weird look. A look which she always gave me whenever it comes to girls. "U-uh.. Roxas is lying!!" I said to her, but I know Mom wouldn't believe that. Oh well, no point arguing.

To be honest, Roxas was right. I always get so jealous when majority of my guy friends had found their 'dream girls'. I always end up asking myself, "Sora, when are you gonna find your dream girl?"

"Honey, you should give the boys a tour," Mom said to Dad. "No, I wanna explore this town by myself," I said. "Then in that case, I'll tag along!" Roxas said. I sweatdropped; he seriously has no sense of privacy.

Mom and Dad smiled. "Okay." Dad said. "You can explore the town on your own. Just no fighting." They both gave me a very awkward smile before leaving. What's with them, anyway?

Roxas ran up to me. "So, when are we going to explore Twilight Town?" he asked. I thought for a moment before answering, "Now."

We took our wallets and wore our sneakers. Dad tossed me the keys. "Don't be late." he said. "I'm counting on you." I nodded; Mom and Dad always rely on me because I'm the older twin. But that doesn't mean I'm in charge of Roxas. I unlocked the door and stepped out of the house, breathing in fresh air. For some reason, fresh air here was different then fresh air at Destiny Islands..... Wait, what am I thinking -- fresh air is fresh air. What's the difference?

"Incoming!!" Roxas shouted. I turned around and tripped on a skateboard -- my very own skateboard. God, I'm so unfortunate! I looked up and shot a deadly glare at Roxas, causing him to stop laughing.

"Uh.. Mom?" he called out. "Sora is giving me a very scary look...." Mom and Dad came outside of the house and looked at me. I swore they both gasped when they saw the deadly look on my face. Dad sighed, "What now?"

"Roxas tripped me with my skateboard!" I complained. Mom and Dad turned to Roxas. He shook his head, "I.. I didn't! The skateboard was there in the first place!" That bitch. If only his face were made of clay -- then I would disfigure his face.

Mom and Dad sighed again and looked at me. "It's not very nice to blame your younger brother, Sora." Mom said, before returning to the kitchen. Dad gave me an awkward look, "I'm still counting on you." And with that, he returned to the kitchen as well. Unfair. They always blame the older one.

"I hate this!!" I yelled. "I hate it! Hate it! HATE IT!!" Roxas took his skateboard and walked up to me. "I'm sorry." he said, and he outstretched his arm, offering to help me up. If you think that I would take his hand, then you're wrong.

I gave my brother another deadly look before standing up, picking up my skateboard afterwards. "You didn't have to do that." I scolded him before walking to the town square. "I said I was sorry!" Roxas yelled, catching up with me.

I sighed. Well, he's my twin brother. Guess I'll have to bear with this for the next 5 years of my life. God, I hate myself.

"Hello, you guys seem new." a girl with short, brown hair said to us. There were four other kids behind her; being one of them a girl and the rest are guys. They seem to be around our age. "Hi." Roxas and I said. "We are new. We just moved here this morning."

"Ah, then welcome to Twilight Town!" the kids greeted. "I'm Selphie." the girl with the short, brown hair said. "Selphie Tilmitt. This is my big brother -- Tidus Tilmitt." She pointed to a boy with dirty blond hair. Roxas and I smirked at the name. "Tidus Tilmitt?" Roxas echoed. "What a... stupid name!" Tidus rolled his eyes, "Yeah, yeah. Laugh all you want; I'm used to it."

"I'm Olette Hirasawa," another girl -- with long, brunette hair -- said to us. "This muscular guy next to me is Hayner Cowden, and this short, fat fellow is Pence Marquette." The two boys behind her -- exactly like the way Olette described -- grinned and waved at us. Roxas and I waved back.

"I'm Roxas Strife." said Roxas. "This is my twin brother, Sora Strife." I folded my arms, "I happen to be the older twin." Everyone laughed. "You're just jealous that Roxas is taller than you, right?" Tidus asked.

"What the-- I am not!!"

Everyone laughed again; I don't get what's so funny. It's true though, I am jealous that Roxas is taller. God, he's gonna attract lots of girls.

"Anyway, what school are you guys going to?" Selphie asked. "We're going to Twilight High." I said. The group of kids gasped. "We're from that school!" they said in unison. "Cool." I said, grinning. "Then I guess Twilight High won't be too bad!" What I meant was; I was afraid the school might be full of retards.

"Hey, Tidus. Are there any hot girls in the school?" Roxas asked. Tidus raised a brow, "You looking for your dream girl? That's where I found mine." "No." Roxas replied. "Sora's looking for his dream girl." "Awwww." Olette and Selphie said. Crap -- I'm blushing again. I need to hide my face!

I had no choice -- I stomped on Roxas's foot.

"Bitch! Why'd you do that?" Roxas asked, hopping on one foot. I gave him a blank look -- that meant that the answer is obvious. Roxas nodded and stopped hopping. "You guys going skateboarding?" Tidus asked, pointing at our skateboards. We nodded; Roxas may be annoying, but what I love so much about him is that we share the same interests.

"You can skateboard all you want, but be careful of Seifer." said Hayner. I rasied a brow, "Seifer?" Pence nodded, "Seifer Freidle. He's the head of Twilight Town's Disciplinary Comittee. He's really cocky, the same goes with his buddy Rai." "But then, I have to admit, Fuu looks pretty cool," said Tidus, scratching the back of his head.

"Then there's Vivi!" said Selphie. "He's so cute!!" I looked at my twin brother; he looked back at me. We simply shrugged. Who knows, this town may be better than I thought.

"Hey, have you heard of Riku Bradford?" Roxas asked. The group of kids nodded. "He's in Twilight High as well. Is there a problem?" Pence asked. "Nope." I said. "He's our cousin."

We spent the whole day skateboarding and talking about ourselves. Most of the time, Roxas teased me. I always ended up blushing. But I tried not to give him that deadly stare; I didn't want to get grounded. Seriously, who would ground their son because of one glare?

Cloud Strife, of course. He may be a fun dad, but he's very scary when he's mad. I remembered how Roxas and I would always hide in our room whenever Dad got angry. God, never knew an owner of a cafe would be this strict.

"Look!" Selphie said, pointing to something up ahead. "What a beautiful sunset!" We all looked. Wow, it's true. The most beautiful sunset I had ever seen; and I thought Destiny Islands was the best sunset-watching spot. "The right time for us to eat sea salt ice cream!" Olette said, taking out seven bars of ice cream.

"What does it taste like?" Roxas and I asked in unison. Tidus grinned, "Try it." I took a small bite from the ice cream bar.

The name explains it all.

"It's sweet.. and salty." I said. Tidus grinned again, "Twilight Town is famous for the ice cream's unique taste!" Although it was a strange combination, I liked the taste of the ice cream. I didn't want it to go to waste, so I nibbled it. Selphie giggled. "What?" I asked.

"You look so cute when you nibble the ice cream," she said. Oh, and guess what?

I blushed.

-

"We're back!" Roxas and I shouted. We stood at the door for a moment. Phew. Mom and Dad aren't home. "Let's hurry to our room before they get mad at us." Roxas whispered. We barely made our way to the stairs and we met up with Mom and Dad.

"Boys." Dad said sternly. "Where have you guys been? Why did you come home so late?" Then Dad gave me a very fierce look, "I thought I said I was counting on you?" God, I was at a lost for words. There's no one else to blame for this one, knowing that I'm the one at fault here. And that means that I'm gonna get punished first.


"Sora, wake up. It's time for school." Roxas said, shaking me. I groaned, "I don't wanna go...." "Dad's gonna kill you if you don't." Roxas added. I groaned again, "Fine."

Roxas threw me a towel. "Go get washed up." he said. I took the towel and made my way to the bathroom. "Um... Sora." Roxas called out. I rubbed my eyes and replied, "Hm?"

Roxas smiled at me, "Thanks for saving me last night." I was confused at first, then smiled.

That's right; I had saved Roxas from being punished by Dad. I still can't believe what I did, though.

"Explain." Dad said, folding his arms.

"We... we...." Roxas stammered, playing around with his thumbs. "It wasn't Roxas's fault!" I said. Mom and Dad looked at me weirdly. They must be wondering how I became so honest. "It wasn't Roxas's fault, I swear." I added. "Dad was counting on me, but I lost track of time... I'm sorry."

Dad sighed, "Sora, I'm really happy that you realized your mistake. But since you're being so honest, I'll go easy on you." Go easy on me? Is he referring to my punishment? "Yes, your punishment," Dad said. Whoa! A mind-reader!! "Your punishment will be.... helping me out at the cafe." Dad added.

I froze. What? I'm already gonna spend 6 hours in school, and then spend another 6 hours helping out at the cafe? God, save me!

Too bad. Punishment confirmed. Oh well. It can't be that bad. I mean, I get to eat free brownies!

-

"Morning." I said. "What's for breakfast?" Mom turned around and smiled, "Pancakes!" I grinned and took my seat. Roxas was grinning as well. The smell of freshly made pancakes filled the air as Mom put the pancakes on a couple of plates and served them to us. Roxas and I then fought for the maple syrup.

"May someone remind me, what is so good about maple syrup?" Dad asked, taking a seat. "They're sticky, and it might dirty your school uniform." "That's the best thing about them!" Roxas said, pouring maple syrup all over his pancakes. Overflow, I thought. He was pouring way too much syrup.

Dad looked at me. I looked at him back; I had a really awkward feeling in my guts. "Don't forget." Dad said. "This afternoon." I nodded.

-

"Have fun at school, boys!" Mom shouted. "We will!" Roxas and I shouted back in unison. We met up with Selphie and gang shortly and made our way to Twilight High.

"Wow, big school." said Roxas. Selphie grinned. It was obvious; she's proud because her school is receiving a compliment. "Well, we'd better take you to the school hall," she said. She grabbed our wrists and dragged us into the school.

"I would like to welcome all of you newcomers," some old man said. "He's Proffesor Xemnas," Tidus whispered. "Pincipal of the school. Don't fall asleep; he'll get mad!" I tried really hard to keep myself awake while Proffesor Xemnas explained the boring school rules and such. "Mansex." I said. I could see that my friends -- and Roxas -- were trying to hold back their laughter. I tried to hold mine too.

This is really getting boring. I scanned the whole school hall -- one certain person caught my eye. It was a girl. She had shoulder-length, red hair. She almost fell asleep, and I laughed when she wiped the drool off the side of her lip. She wasn't sitting far from me. If only I knew her name, if only I could see her face. I bet it's beautiful.

"Hey Sora." Roxas called out. "Who are you looking at?" "N-no one." I replied, trying to look away from the girl. "You've been staring at a girl." Roxas teased. The girls said 'Awwwww.' once again, and the guys chuckled. Seriously, this is the thing I hate about Roxas.

"S-so?" I asked. I was unaware that I was blushing. "Go ask her out." said Roxas. "You're crazy!!" I shouted. Every single person in the hall looked at me. A teacher gestured me to keep quiet, and I nodded. Proffesor Xemnas then went back to the boring school stuff. God, I just embarrassed myself. I hate my life...

But I could've sworn that I heard the red head giggle.

*****

Great. Just great.

My friends were teasing me over one girl. God.

"Hey Sora, you like her, right?" Hayner teased. I could tell that I was blushing. "N-no way," I said. "Ho-how can I... like someone that I haven't even met be-before?!" Roxas nudged Selphie, "Any idea how old that red head is?" Selphie tapped her chin, "Well, we've never seen her before, so I'm assuming that she's a newcomer."

"Yessss." I said with a grin on my face. My group of friends looked at me and chuckled. "Why are you so happy?" Tidus asked. "I.. I am?" I asked innocently. God, I didn't know what took over me.

"Sora! Roxas!" someone called out. That voice sounded familiar. We turned around and saw a guy with silver running up to us. "Riku!" Roxas and I shouted.

My cousin Riku. He's tall, cool and obviously matured. He's a girl magnet, I have to say. I wish I was just like him. He's only two years older than us, after all.

Riku played around with my hair. "Why did you shout in the middle of assembly?" he asked. I scratched the back of my head, "I.. U-um..." Roxas grinned, "He was staring at a girl." Riku's eyes widened, "Seriously?! Sora finally fell for someone?" I bit my lip. I'm starting to regret shouting at Roxas.

"What's she like?" Riku asked me. I didn't dare to answer. Not in front of my friends. But I had no choice; they were all nudging me. I've had enough of this!

"She.. has shoulder length red hair..." I said. "She was sitting.. not far from where we were sitting." Riku thought for a moment. "She's a newcomer." he said. "I was sitting right in front of her. I heard a girl calling her.... Kairi." Kairi... what a beautiful name. I bet she's just as beautiful. "Did you see her face?" I asked, before covering my mouth.

"Aw, Sora wants to see Kairi's face!" Roxas sang and I was blushing. God, what's going on with me? I've only seen the back of that girl's head, her shoulder-length red hair, and I'm falling for her? I just wish I could be struck by lightning now.

"Oh, yes I did," Riku said, grinning. "She's pretty." Now I feel like killing myself!

Roxas nudged me, "So? What should you say?" I looked down, "Gr-Great..." "That's the spirit!" said Tidus, giving me a thumbs up.

"So, what's our first lesson?" Riku shrugged, "Why ask me? Go ask someone else." And with that he ran to join his group of friends. Tidus did the same; he was a year older than us, so he's in another class. That leaves me, Roxas, Selphie, Olette, Pence and Hayner. I was wishing we won't be separated.

But too bad.

"Sora Strife?" a man came up to me and asked. I nodded. Who the heck is this? "Follow me to your first class." the man added. I bid the others goodbye before running after the man. He brought me to a room full of other students...... Well, duh.

I took a seat in the class and looked around; everyone seems to be having fun. They were talking to one another as if they were their childhood friends or something. Then I saw her. The red head. She was sitting all alone at the corner, scribbling something on her notebook. I wish I could walk up to her and say 'hi', but I'm a guy. I'm shy.

"Good morning, lads and laddies!" a yound man said the moment he entered the class. He made us feel like we're sailors or something.

"I'm Proffesor Demyx, and your first class is music!" the man said. I jumped for joy at the word 'music'. I may be a guy, but I like singing. I play the piano too. Though I wish I could play the guitar -- it seems so fun.

Proffesor Demyx started to take our attendance. Most of the students here had funny names. But what can be done? Nothing.

"Kairi Flawcett." Proffesor Demyx called out. "Here." a girl said -- she's not just any girl. She was the red head I saw. Man, her voice is so sweet.

"Sora Strife." I didn't respond. I continued to stare at Kairi. Although I wasn't able to see her face, I am already starting to like her. "Sora Strife?" I came back to my senses and said, "Here." Proffesor Demyx chuckled, "You got distracted because of Kairi, right?" I blushed. The hell!! Even a teacher is teasing me!!

I looked the other way, only to lock eyes with her. Kairi Flawcett. She smiled at me. Wow, I think I'm dying. Kairi waved at me. Her beautiful face is killing me! I had no other choice, so I smiled and waved at her back.

"Okay, class." Proffesor Demyx called out. "Since today is your first day in school, I'm gonna let you do whatever you want." Everyone cheered. Proffesor Demyx is so cool! "You can play the musical instruments as well." he added. "But once broken considered sold." I laughed; I wish all the teachers in this school were as funny as him.

I scanned the room and saw a white grand piano. I had no idea why, but I quickly ran to the piano; it was like the piano had some pulling force. I started playing one of my favorite piano melodies. Then I played another one. I played from melody to melody. Proffesor Demyx clapped occassionally at my performance.

Then she came. She sat beside me. She said 'hi' to me. She smiled at me. She... is Kairi Flawcett.

"Sora Strife, right?" she asked. I nodded meekly. "Proffesor Demyx said you got distracted because of me." she added. "Were you staring at me or something?" I sighed, "Yes." Then she giggled. She. Giggled. At. Me.

"Wh-what's so funny?" I asked. Kairi smiled sweetly at me, "Nothing." I went back to playing the piano. But Kairi.... she's making me so nervous that I kept pressing the wrong notes. God, who knew a girl could be this....... scary?

"Sora... are you okay?" Kairi placed her hand on my shoulder. "I.... Um... Yeah." I said before turning to her. "Let's talk about ourselves." Kairi smiled and nodded, "Do you have any siblings in this school?"

"Yep -- Roxas." I replied. "He's my twin brother. But I'm two minutes older." Kairi laughed, "Funny. I have a twin sister in this school. Her name is Namine. She's two minutes older too." Then Kairi gave me an awkward smile, "Who knows -- you both might fall for each other."

I blushed. Argh, Kairi is much more complicated than I thought. Oh well, I have a feeling that both of us would go to the same classes in the near future. No point arguing.

"You shouted during assembly just now." Kairi said. "May I know why?" God, how am I supposed to answer that? I can't say that I shouted because I was staring at her! "I.. Um........ My brother was irritating me!" I said before looking away. "I know -- siblings can be irritating sometimes, huh?" Kairi asked. "But it's fun when you're fighting with your sister or brother!" Not when it's a brother. Roxas is different, Kairi.

Way different.

*****

"Class dismiss!" Proffesor Demyx shouted. Wow, two periods already? Can't believe how time flies. Well, like they say, time flies when you're having fun.

Wait. Having fun? How can I have fun by telling Kairi more about myself? That can't be right.

"Hey, Sora!" Roxas and the rest of my friends -- except Tidus, of course -- called out. I waved back at them. "Kairi!!" a girl with shoulder-length blond hair came running to Kairi, and hugging her afterwards. I walked up to Roxas and the others.

"Had fun?" Roxas asked. I nodded, "My first lesson was music. The teacher -- Proffesor Demyx -- gave us freedom; we could do whatever we want!" "Lucky you," said Roxas. "My first class was Math. The stupid teacher -- Proffesor Saix -- gave us some asessments." I laughed at my brother, "That's what you get for being a spoilt brat!"

"Pence, Hayner and I had Art class," Olette said. "It was fun; we were made to draw and paint and color and--" "Olette, art is art. They know," said Hayner, making Olette giggle. "Well, my first class was chemistry," said Selphie. "Good thing we're not allowed to play with the chemicals."

"Hey Sora." Roxas called out. "You were in the same class as Kairi, right?" I blushed and nodded meekly. "Did you talk to her?" God, what am I supposed to say? If I say yes, they'll tease me. If I say no, they'll make me talk to Kairi!

Kairi and the blond-haired girl walked past us. Kairi winked at me, "See you later, Sora." Dammit, everyone saw that. Roxas and Hayner chuckled. I'm gonna suffer from their teasing the whole day.

And I was right.


"You talked to her? Like, seriously?!" Roxas asked and I nodded.

Just so you know, we were at the canteen, having... well... lunch, what else?

"So? Did she say anything about you?" Roxas added. "Like.... you're cute or something?" "No!" I said. "We only talked about ourselves, not about each other!" Hayner laughed, "Did she talk about her family or something?"

"Yeah. She has a twin sister called Namine." I said. "Namine is--" "Two minutes older than Kairi." Roxas interrupted. I blinked multiple times, "How did you know?" "Namine and I were in the same math class." Roxas explained. "When I told her about you, she told me about Kairi. She said that I might fall for her."

"Funny." I said. "Kairi said that I might fall for Namine."

"But that wouldn't happen, right?" Hayner asked. "I mean, you like Kairi already. What's the point of liking Nami--" I threw a french fry at Hayner's face, "I. Do. Not. Like. Her." Hayner chuckled, "Yeah right."

-

I didn't enjoy lunch. Not one bit. I mean, how am I supposed to enjoy lunch when my friends kept teasing me? I just happened to like a girl, what the hell is wrong with th--

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I do not like Kairi. She just happens to be my friend. That's right, I like her only as a friend.

Oh well. I made my way to the next class -- Art. God, I hate art. I can't even draw. I entered a class which smell like rotten food. "God... is this what paint really smell like?" I ask myself, taking a seat.

I looked at everyone else; how the hell do they endure this disgusting smell? I could die from lack of oxygen any moment! And not to mention the clay; to put your bare hands into a bowl full of sticky, waxy stuff? Maple syrup is similar, but it smells and tastes nicer! Clay is not even edible!

"Hi Sora." a girl called out. Oh god, is it? I turned around only to be greeted by..........

A blond-haired girl?

She walked up and sat right next to me. I raised a brow, Ho-How'd you know my--" "Name?" the girl continued. "My sister and your twin brother told me. A boy with brunette -- slightly lighter -- spiky hair who looks confused and lonely all the time. I was guessing it was you." I sat upright to face the girl, "So I'm guessing you're Kairi's sister. Namine Flawcett."

The girl nodded, "Yep. Seems like they told you about me, huh." I nodded, "Well, you can't stop one from boasting about their siblings." "You're right!" Namine said, and we both laughed. Wow, I have to admit; Namine is way different from Kairi.

What's that? So what if I only spent, like, 5 seconds with her? She had a totally different aura, unlike Kairi. But that doesn't mean I'll fall for her.

"Sora, are you okay?" Namine asked. "You look sick. " "It's just the smell." I said. "Oh, the smell of the paint." Namine added. "I can't stand it either. Which is why I never liked art." "But... Kairi said you can draw very well." I said. Namine gave me a cheeky grin; I don't know what it means, but it made me smile.

The teacher came in and introduced himself as Proffesor Xigbar or something. He had some kind of scar on his face and he wears an eye patch. What the hell is that for?

But, to my surprise, he was a really kind teacher. Like Proffesor Demyx, he let us do whatever we want. Namine and I talked about each other. We got along pretty well. Turns out that she liked to cook and sing. Like her sister, she's not very athletic, but she's super hardworking.

"Maybe I can tutor you after school, if you need it, that is." Namine said. Tutor me? After school? I shook me head, "I don't have much time after school. I have to help my dad out at the cafe." "Oh, is it...." Namine began tapping her chin with a color pencil. "Is it the one beside the bakery."

I sweatdropped, "Huh?" Namine giggled, "I'm sorry. Is the name of the cafe Lovers' Latte or something like that...?" I nodded.

"Oh my gosh, I love going to that cafe!" Namine said. "That's so cool that you're helping your dad there. Does he work there?" I shook my head, "Bigger." Namine thought for a moment, "Manager?" I shook my head once again. "I can't think of anything bigger than the manager!" she pouted. "Unless..."

Okay, she's on fire. I smiled, "Yep. The owner of the cafe."

Namine's jaw dropped. It may be silent, but I know she was screaming on the inside.


"Hey, we're back." Roxas and I said in unison. Mom and Dad ran out of the kitchen. "Did you boys have fun?" Mom asked, grinning. Roxas nodded, "Yeah! We already made lots of friends! Although...... it sucked during math class..." Mom and Dad looked at me, giving me a face that read "Your answer?"

I sighed, "Didn't have fun at all." "Why not?" Mom asked. I ran up to my room, yelling, "How the hell are you supposed to have fun when people are making fun of you the whole time?!" Dad looked at Roxas; Roxas looked at him, giving Dad a cheeky grin, "Sora likes a girl."

-

Dad entered the room and gave me a worried look. I looked at him for a moment, then went back to bouncing the tennis ball. Dad sat next to me on the bed and sighed, "Is something wrong?" I didn't bother to answer. Obviously, you can find the answer from the look on my face.

"Look, Sora, I know Rox--" "He's a jerk." I said. "He's been making fun of me ever since I looked at her." Dad raised a brow, "Her?" I sat upright and sighed, "Kairi Flawcett. Roxas says that I like her, but I seriously don't!" Dad tapped his chin, "That name sounds familiar..."

"Of course, she's one of your regular customers at the cafe." I said. I looked at my wristwatch. Whining time over. "Well, we'd better get ready." I said.

-

"Sora? How come your cappuccino tastes different from my cappuccino?" my dad asked. " I simply shrugged, "I did everything you told me to do. You saw me." Dad nodded. Can't deny that.

I raised a brow, "Does... it taste.... bad?" I was expecting the answer to be yes.

"No. It tastes much better."

I smiled, "Seriously?" Dad nodded again, "Can you try making... tea?"

I did everything Dad told me to do; put the teabag in the mug. Pour some hot water into the mug and viola, tea. Like what my friend Zidane Tribal back at Destiny Islands would say, Easy Peasy!

I looked at Dad nervously as he took a sip of my tea from his mug. "Better." he said. "I still don't get how you do it." "Me neither." I said. "Nevermind." Dad said, giving me a pen and a notebook. "Go serve customers."

I sighed and walked over to the table full of kids around my age, "Good afternoon, may I have--"

"Hey Sora!" Roxas said. I'm serving these group of kids?! I'm serving Roxas, Selphie, Tidus, Namine and... Kairi?!

"Namine brought us here." Roxas said, giving me a cheeky grin. I sighed; I had no other choice. I quickly took their orders and walked back to the kitchen.

"What's with that sulky look on your face?" Dad asked. I sighed, "My friends from school. They're here." Dad raised a brow, "So?" "So?" I echoed. "Kairi's with them! Then everyone will make fun of me again!" Dad smirked, "Whatever." Man, I hate it when Dad smirks and says 'Whatever' -- It means that he's leaving everything to me--

"Whoa, what?" I asked. "You're making me...?" Dad smiled and nodded, "Yep. Only for your friends."

-

"Wow Sora, is this your first time working here or something?" Tidus asked, confirming that all their orders were correct. I shook my head, "No. I've done this countless times." Namine took a sip of her coffee. "This tastes...." she said. Oh-oh, bad news.

"AMAZING!!" Namine shouted. "This is way better than the previous coffees that I drank! But how come? I mean, I've been ordering the same thing eve--" "I made it." I said. Roxas raised a brow, "Seriously? Or are you just trying to impress Kairi?" I looked at Kairi and she smiled at me. I quickly turned back to my brother to avoid blushing.

"Don't believe me?" I asked. "Go ask Dad." From the look on Roxas's face, I could tell that he still didn't believe me. I shrugged and walked back to the kitchen, slamming the tray on the cabinet. "Tired?" Dad asked me and I nodded. "Go hang out with your friends."

My eyes widened, "What?!"

"You heard me. Go hang out with your friends. It's the end of the shift." Dad added. Oh well.....

I took a brownie from the fridge and ran outside to join Roxas and my friends.

-

"Hey guys!" I said, taking a seat beside Roxas, who gave me an awkward look. "What?" "You're supposed to be working." he said. I shrugged, "He said my shift was over and told me to hang out with you guys." Roxas sighed; he can't do anything about that.

"Are you okay, Roxas?" Namine asked. "No." Roxas replied. "I'm sad." I raised a brow, "About what?" "I'm sad that you got a free brownie." Roxas said. I grinned, "There's more where that came from! Besides, we have a few at home."

"So, Sora..." Kairi said, looking at me. Whoops. The funny feeling in my stomach is coming back. "Your father owns this shop?" I nodded. "That's so cool." Kairi said. Huh. Too bad, I was hoping she would say that I'm cool.

Kairi looked at my brother, "Did you know your brother is such a funny guy?" Roxas twitched, "What?" I smirked at him. Looks like someone isn't funny enough to impress his girl.

"Did I mention your sister is awesome?" I said to Kairi. I have to admit; I prefer Namine then Kairi. But like I said, that doesn't mean I'd fall for her. Neither does that mean I like Kairi either.

Kairi smiled, but there was something wrong about her smile; her eyes tells me that she's sad. But why?

"You okay?" I asked. Kairi nodded, "Yeah. Of course."

We spent a couple of hours in the cafe talking more about ourselves. Guess what? I found out that Kairi loves to sing -- just like me! I told them a lot about our hometown, Destiny Islands. Tidus and Selphie said that they've been there once.

"That's so lucky you used to live at Destiny Islands." said Tidus. "You're living on the same island as the famous blitzball player, Wakka!" Selphie smirked, "My brother's crazy about blitzball." "Do you play blitzball?" Tidus asked me and Roxas.

"I don't, but Sora does." Roxas replied. "Whoa, th-that doesn't mean that I'm good at it, right? I mean... I lost to a few of our friends last time, right?" I said, waving my hands. "Yeah." Roxas smirked. "A few."

"No matter, that's awesome Sora!" Tidus said. "We should play together sometime!" "Uh.. yeah..." I said. Wait to go, twin bro.

"When we went to Destiny Islands, I met Wakka!" Tidus said. Selphie sighed and buried her head in her hands, "Here he goes again..." "Wakka signed my blitzball!!" Tidus added. "That was the happiest day of my life!" "And you don't even let anyone touch it, except for other blitzball players." Selphie said, making Tidus grin, "I'm proud of myself."

I looked at my watch. Huh. Time flies when you're having fun. "The cafe's closing soon." I said, taking the mugs and plates and other kitchen utensils on the tables. "Meet cha' outside." I said to the others before entering the kitchen.

Dad smiled, "You guys had fun." I nodded and washed the mugs. "Dad?" I called out. "Can we... go to Destiny Islands during our next vacation or something?" Dad raised a brow, "You missed that place so much?" I shrugged, "The next vacation is next month, so..." Dad smiled, "Okay. Then you'd better save your munny." I nodded and gave him a thumbs up, "You betcha!"


"Second day of school, Sora! Wake up!!" Roxas shouted, causing me to turn and fall from my bed.

"Roxas pointed at the clock, "It took me five minutes to wake you up. Five minutes." I laughed and took my towel, heading to the bathroom.

-

"What's for breakfast?" I sang. Mom turned around and smiled, "Guess." I sniffed. It smells really familiar; the word is at the tip of my tongue...

"Waffles!!" Roxas shouted, taking his seat. Dammit, I was just about to shout out the answer! Nevermind...

I took my seat and Mom put a couple of plates on the table. And on the plates were -- yep, you guessed it -- waffles! Roxas and I quickly snatched our plates and stuffed a whole waffle into our mouths.

"No manners." Dad said, entering the kitchen. Mom laughed and kissed Dad on the cheek. "Isn't it... funny to watch how your kids eat from time to time?" she asked, but Dad shook his head, "Not when your kids are eating like monsters."

Roxas said something that we couldn't make out. Geez, bro, learn to talk when the time is right, not when your mouth is full! Dad gave my brother a confused look before taking a mug and filling it with orange juice.

Roxas looked at me, but I simply shrugged. I could tell -- Roxas was confused on why Dad ignored him.

-

Cooking class. My. Very. First. Cooking. Lesson.

Namine and I were partners for cooking. Roxas? Well, his partner was Kairi. But I wouldn't care less.

Our teacher is a great teacher -- Mr Axel. He told us he loved cooking, especially barbequeing chicken wings and all. We could see why; Mr Axel can magically burn things!!

"Since this is your first lesson, I will go easy on you." Mr Axel said. "You will have to make the pulpiest rice ever!" "How are we gonna make that?" Roxas asked. Mr Axel smiled at him, "Do it in your own creative way." That answer left Roxas confused for five minutes.

I turned to Namine, "Okay. You loved to cook, right? Can you teach me how to make rice?" Namine smiled, "Silly. We're working in pairs on this one, remember?" I blinked my eyes multiple times, "Really? Mr Axel didn't say." Namine rolled her eyes, "Who cares?" Whoa. Totally unexpected from a hardworking girl like her.

Namine taught me how to make rice. It's like making tea -- you put rice in the rice cooker, fill it with water then heat it. Pulpier rice means more water! Easy Peasy!

20 minutes later...

"How is the rice, Sora?" Namine asked. "Um.. warm?" I replied, and Namine giggled. "That's not what I meant, silly." she said. "I mean, is the rice okay?"

"I don't even know rice could get sick!"

Namine giggled again, "Nevermind, I'll check on the rice." She walked up to the rice cooker and opened the lid. Lots of smoke came out of the rice cooker; it was a good thing Namine didn't dunk her head inside it!

Namine took a glance at the rice and smiled, putting back the lid of the rice cooker. "It's almost ready." she said. "Now then, shall we go check out how our siblings are doing?" I was confused at first. And when I finally understood what she meant, I gave her a cheeky grin.

This would be fun.


Phew! It took me two days to write this one chapter! It turned out to be waaay longer than expected! xD

Anyway, like I said, this is a SoKai story, not a SoNami story!! But don't worry, Sora and Kairi will get together.... Somehow.................. -evil smile-

Well, it might take quite a while to write the next chapter, but that's okay! Till the next chapter!

-- Yuffie