I'm really sorry this chapter's late. After the last chapter, we had 'Hell Week' in school. Project after freaking project, and then finals the week after that. Then just last month, I had to take advanced math classes (I killed a lot of braincells.) So I'm really sorry I sort of disappeared for three months D:
Anyway, back to the story (Oddly enough, Roxas apologizes twice in this story too. You'll just have to read and see what I mean ;D) Here's chapter three. Thanks so much to those people who reviewed~! Greatly appreciated it. I hope you guys haven't lost hope in this story yet.
Disclaimer: I don't own KH. I do own this absolutely adorable little Axel keychain, though (They didn't have one of Roxas. *sniff* D: )
('There's just something about him...')
Chapter Three - Wednesday
'- - you amaze me with your words and your actions alike…'
"So, I was thinking we have a picture for our presentation. Something that shows Columbus discovering the West Indies, maybe."
"I think that's a great idea, Roxas; but where are we going to find this picture? I didn't see one in the books we looked in."
"Well, I was hoping that you'd draw it."
"I've seen what you're capable of, Naminé. Trust me, you're one of the best I've ever seen."
"Of course. I wouldn't lie to you, you know. If you don't want to, though, I won't force you into doing it. So, what do you say?"
"...Sure. I'll do it."
That was what happened yesterday, and honestly? Naminé still can't get over the fact that Roxas had been able to make her say yes. It amazed her to no limits that a boy she knew for barely two days could have such a great influence on her. If it were anyone else, she would've said no flat out; but for him? It seems she would do most things she wouldn't normally do.
Though, she was so anxious last night that she was up until three in the morning, thinking about how to make the portrait for their presentation. Before she and Roxas parted ways, she had promised him that she would try to start early on the Columbus picture, or at least have an idea of what to do. Actually, that was the problem; every time she would get an idea, there would be this tiny voice in her head, asking her: 'Would he like it?' Over and over again. And as if that wasn't enough, another voice would pipe up, saying: 'Who cares if the Nobody hates it? Certainly not you, Princess.'
It was like she was arguing with herself, and losing both sides.
It was at that time that her phone rang. Curious, (and besides, at the rate she was going, she wouldn't be sleeping for a while) she picked up her phone and read the message. Surprisingly, it was from Roxas. Naminé knew he would be texting eventually; they did trade numbers after all (she knew it was for the project, but she liked to hope otherwise). What surprised her was his timing, and – of course – what he had written:
"Don't stress yourself out. Whatever you think of will turn out amazing, trust me. :D 'Night, Naminé."
Needless to say, she slept quite peacefully afterwards.
And now, here she was at school, about five hours later, thinking about a certain blond boy.
How did he know she would be stressing over their project? It was like he knew her more than she knew herself. Which was saying a lot, because she's only known him for a grand total of two and a half days. Yet, Naminé was grateful. It was refreshing to receive such a kind and sincere gesture from someone she barely knew. Lord knows the blond girl has had too many people be nice to her only because of her status. Roxas wasn't like that, though; he was genuinely nice and really thoughtful, that much Naminé figured out. Though, she had to admit, it did scare her a little that he could read her like an open book.
Nevertheless, she found herself eagerly anticipating the end of the school day. After all, today was the day she would pay a visit to the Kaminari household.
After what seemed like ages to her (For all she knew, a thousand years could've passed), the final bell rang, signaling the end of the school day. She quickly stood up and packed her things. Unfortunately, Roxas wasn't in this class, nor did she know what class he had. That meant Naminé would just have to walk to his house and meet him there. The blond girl wasted no time and began the trek towards the Kaminari house.
Twenty minutes later (she stopped by her house to get a few supplies for their project), she stood in front of one of the most beautiful homes in the Islands. She's been here before, ages ago, when she and Kairi came to visit Sora. Even back then, as a young girl, the grandeur of the timeless house amazed her. The Kaminari home was quite large; it could be considered a mansion around these parts. Naminé moved towards the front porch steps, and rang the doorbell.
"Hold on a sec!" Came a muffled voice.
The door opened, and Naminé expected Roxas to be on the other side, but she was met with chocolate brown spikes instead of honey blond.
"Oh, hey Nami." Sora said, flashing her his signature goofy grin. "Rox isn't home yet, but he'll be here in a few minutes. He said you can wait in his room." He then returned his eyes to his Blackberry as his fingers flew across the keyboard, presumably texting Kairi.
"Oh, okay." She replied, and then followed him in the house. Silence ensued for a short moment as she sat down on the living room couch and took in the interior of the beautiful home. She was so absorbed that if it weren't for the silence, she would've missed Sora's offhand comment.
"You know, I've never seen Roxas so happy about someone knowing his double life." Naminé's head snapped up as she looked wide-eyed at the brunette. Sora, on the other hand, was still focused on his phone. You would think that he mentioned something as trivial as the weather.
"You... You know?" Technically, it shouldn't be much of a surprise if Sora knew. After all, they did live in the same house. But Naminé thought back to last Monday, and how Roxas said Sora would wonder where he went. If Sora did know about Number XIII, it certainly wasn't mutual.
The brown-haired Kaminari just shrugged and said: "We never talk about it openly, and he usually bonds with Xion over this; but it's kind of hard to keep a secret when you're under the same roof. So it's more on the he-suspects-that-I-know-what-he-does thing."
"Oh. I see." Same old Sora. Even in a conversation like this, he can still talk in a way that makes it completely... Sora. She had to smile at that.
"Naminé? Could you do me a favor?" Sora asked, his face completely serious. Naminé turned her full attention to the boy, wondering what he had to ask. It must be important, seeing as he doesn't normally abandon his usually optimistic demeanor to ask a simple favor.
"Sure, Sora. What is it?"
"My brother's a great guy. I wish the kids at school could see that, but they get so blinded by the status quo. Well, that's partly our faults, too." He said, smiling wryly. "Anyway, if it's alright with you, could you, maybe, be there for him? I know Roxas seems fine with what he has right now, but he could be so much happier. And from what I can see, he's taken a liking to you."
The blond girl just sat there in shock. She knew Sora was a very thoughtful and caring person, but who knew he was this – how should she say it – deep? Reflective? Well, it doesn't matter. What matters now was her response to his favor, but that was just it. How should she reply? Should she accept? Should she decline? She wasn't sure about Roxas taking a liking to her, as Sora put it. But she was sure of one thing, and that was the only basis for her decision:
'I don't plan on leaving him anytime, Sora.'
"Of course, Sora. I promise."
He grinned another cheesy grin. "Thanks, Naminé. I owe you one. Alright! Want some cookies while you wait?"
A few minutes later, she was in Roxas' room, waiting for the blond boy to return. Her heart-to-heart with Sora just left her even more intrigued about Roxas Kaminari. Now, it wasn't just because he was the Organization's youngest member; she wanted to know Roxas, all sides of who he was.
Now, Princess. Must I remind you not to talk to that boy? She sighed. Of course, as much as she wanted that to happen, the Little Miss Perfect inside her (as she'd began to call that annoying voice in her head) was just as adamant about steering clear of the blond boy. If only society didn't have a set image of what was 'right' and what was 'wrong'. For all they knew, 'right' (and she's saying this theoretically, but she knew - deep inside her - that this was more than an a hypothetical situation) was somewhere they'd never thought to look. Almost like how Columbus didn't really discover the Indies he was looking for, but it was actually something so much bigger...
Suddenly, as if a light switch had been turned on, she grabbed her sketchbook and furiously began drawing. She now had the perfect idea for their project.
Her burst of inspiration was interrupted by someone opening the door. Roxas poked his head into the room, spotted her, and smiled.
"Hey." He said, entering his room and closing the door behind him. "Sorry I'm late. " She shook her head and smiled at him.
"I understand. You had some... business... to take care of, right?"
He smirked, thoroughly amused by their little inside joke. "Yeah... business. Let's go with that." The spiky haired blond then sat beside her on his bed.
"I really am sorry." He said again with an apologetic smile. "You'd think that I'd be the earlier one, since it is my house and all." He chuckled, and Naminé felt her cheeks heat up at the sound. She shook her head and smiled at him.
"No, it's alright. It gave me some time to think of ideas for the portrait."
"Oh? Great. So, what do you have in mind?" He asked with a kind smile on his face.
"Well, I was thinking..." As she explained her idea to him and showed him her rough sketch, she was inwardly surprised at how intently he was listening. She was grateful, though, especially since this was the first time she ever shared her art with someone. "...What do you think?" Her nerves were frazzled. What if he didn't like it?
Before she could continue that line of thought, Roxas smiled. "That sounds great, Nams. And with your talent, it'll look even better." She blushed, both at his high praise and her nickname.
"No problem. Well, I'll leave you to work on that. As much as I'd love to help you, I'll probably end up screwing the portrait. I was never any good at art." He said, embarrassed. Naminé had to laugh. He just looked so... cute. "Well, if you need anything, just ask. I'll get to finishing our report."
That was how they spent most of the afternoon; she worked on the portrait, and he did their written report. Every once in a while, he'd turn to her and see how she was doing or ask her opinion on something concerning the oral report they were going to do. Apart from that, they worked in comfortable silence.
It was around five-thirty when both blonds had finished. Naminé felt so proud of her work after showing it to Roxas, especially when said blond boy smiled and congratulated her on a job well done. A job done so well that he insisted she deserved a treat. (Of course, she thought it was very sweet of him. The Kaminari charm runs in the family, apparently.) So here they were, in the kitchen, with Naminé sitting by the marble counter and Roxas rummaging through the refrigerator.
"I still can't get over your drawing, Nams. You really have a talent there." She blushed slightly and thanked him again for his praise. He took out a light blue popsicle from the freezer and held it out to her. "Sea-salt ice?"
"Thanks." She replied gratefully, taking the frozen delight from him and relishing in its salty-sweet taste. She took a look around before asking: "Where's Sora?" She hadn't seen the brunette in a while, and it was awfully quiet in his room when they had passed it.
Roxas took out a popsicle of his own before sitting down across her. "He went to Kairi's for a biology paper. He'll probably be back before dinner."
"Oh." She seemed to ponder another thought. "Hey, Roxas?"
"I know it's not in my place to ask, but why hide your skater life? You could be just as popular as your brother if you tried." She didn't know what to expect, especially when it came to this boy; but she was pretty sure she didn't expect him to practically quote her thoughts.
"I don't like pretending. When you're popular, you have to watch everything you do. When you're a Nobody, ironically enough, you can be anybody you want. A nerd, a skater; no one cares to notice, and that's how I like it." He replied, shrugging. She found it funny (And not in the 'ha-ha' way, either) that he had the same views on popularity as her. "Simple as that, Princess."
Naminé frowned. "Would you stop calling me Princess?" She didn't notice it at first, but he did call her that from time to time.
Roxas held his hands up in front of him. "Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you or anything." He then tilted his head curiously. "What's so bad about calling you 'Princess', anyway?" The blond girl just sighed and looked down at her half-eaten popsicle.
"It's just... A lot of people at school call me that. It's like they expect me to always be this perfect girl. I don't know. I guess I miss doing the things I used to love doing. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to the time before popularity became everything, you know?" Her eyes turned reminiscent for a moment before she continued: "Like you said; it gets tiring sometimes, putting up a front, all because I'm the 'Princess of Destiny High'." She looked as if her title had left a bitter taste in her mouth.
"Then why don't you stop pretending?" She looked up, only to be met with dark, intense, blue eyes.
"Just stop acting. Be yourself."
"But I can't... Everyone... My friends won't accept me. Not to mention the whole student body." She said sadly, thinking of Kairi, Selphie (who was an avid follower of the social hierarchy), and everyone else.
"Well, if they really are your friends, they wouldn't have a problem with who you are." He stopped for a moment, making a point. "Naminé, you shouldn't let go of what makes you, well, you, just because it'll help you fit in. People call you 'Princess' at school. Is that the reason why you try so hard to be one? Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about." He said, looking pointedly at her as she was about to retort. She slouched imperceptibly before giving a slight nod, indicating that yes, she did know what he was referring to.
"You don't have to stop doing things you love just because that's what you think society tells you. You don't need to hide behind Princess Naminé all the time, because you know what? I've met the real Naminé; I'm talking to her right now. And you know what I think?" His eyes softened. "I think she's more of a princess than the Princess Naminé I see in school. I may have not known her for a long time, but the Naminé I'm talking to is real, she's who she wants to be, and that's all that should matter." She had to blush at what he just said. Normally, when people told her that, she'd think they were flirting with her. But with Roxas, she knew that wasn't the case (although, a small, almost non-existent part of her wanted it to be.).
"This is just an opinion, but I think you should let the others at school see your true self. If you're not comfortable with showing it to the whole student body, then start with your friends. Start with Sora, Kairi, and Riku. I can't claim to know Riku or Kairi very well, but I know my brother won't abandon a friend because of who she is. If they're really your friends - and trust me; those three really are - they'll accept you and support you. And when you're ready, slowly show the world the face behind the Princess facade. Just take it one step at a time, Nams."
Naminé couldn't help but stare at him. This boy, this blond outcast in front of her, was more amazing than anybody she's ever met. He was her complete opposite (social hierarchy-wise), and yet here she was – sitting in his kitchen, talking to him, connecting with him, and learning valuable lessons about herself. She smiled shyly at him, which he returned with a heartwarming smile of his own. Naminé knew she wanted to spend more time with this boy. He gave her strength, he gave her friendship, he gave her some food for thought. Normally, she wouldn't have said all the things she just did; but like she's said before (and Lord knows how many times she's said this), he was different. It was simply too easy for her to let go, for her to be herself. Around him, she didn't feel like she had to act, because she knew - she didn't know how, but she just knew - he'd accept her no matter what. He was, hands down, an amazing person.
And, well, she hoped that – just maybe – she could be a little more like him.
'...i've never seen a soul so b e a u t i f u l.'
Okay, I lied; Roxas apologized three times, not two xDDD
How was it? Good? Bad? This-is-total-crap-I'm-clawing-my-eyes-out horrible? Review, and I'll know what you guys think (:
Just a heads up: This is only seven chapters long, and will most probably have conversations like the last one between our favorite blonds. 'Course, every once in a while, a little fluff will be added; but for the most part, I wanna keep this story a sort of discovery, turning-point-in-life type of thing for Naminé. Aaannd, if I get enough reviews (and my lazy butt actually agrees to work), I might make a spinoff fic for this. Basically the same plot, only it'll cover Roxie's side of the story. Tell me if you want me to push through with this, 'kay?
Also, all the Organization Members are gonna pop up in the fifth chapter (That's all I'll say, no more :D) Anyway, I need ideas for what sport each member excels in (like how Roxas is good in skating, street luge, and Struggle). I already have a few ones planned (Demyx MUST be a surfer ;D) If you have suggestions, leave a review! I'll do my best to accomodate all your ideas.
Again, I'm sorry for the delay of this chapter D: Hopefully, you haven't lost faith in this fic!