Previously:Scarlet could finally see where she had gone wrong; she thought she was protecting Roxas by keeping him away from her. She was holding him hostage because she was afraid; if Roxas was truly in love with this girl, then he would defy her orders to take over the Shinra Company. He would run away with her. Elope with her. Be together with her. She was afraid he would make all the wrong mistakes; when it was her at fault all along. She never looked past Naminé's social status - her lack of power or money - to see the pain, the good, the power she held inside. As she stared at the blonde girl in front of her, she could see it at last; a bright future. Naminé was not a cockroach in her plan to successfully run Shinra Corporation; she was much, much more valuable.
But she wasn't completely satisfied; she needed words. Truths. Proof. She stared at Naminé with her brand new eyes and smiled slightly.
"Naminé, do you love my son Roxas?"
If you were here we'd laugh about their
but right now
my time is theirs...
The sun was relentless as it beat down upon a small shop across from a park on main street. Children were springing around in the happy euphoria that was summer; everywhere you looked, there was nothing more than a carefree, enjoyable attitude that came with the whole concept of vacation. Families were splayed out all over the square, shopping, playing, enjoying the weather; every shop was booming with business. Even the little shop titled "Sakuranbo Froyo", where a young blonde woman was hurriedly passing money to and from the cash register.
There I was again tonight
Forcing laughter faking smiles
Same old tired l o n e ly place…
Customers poured in through the door, tracking mud and grime from the grassy park all over the neatly mopped black and white tiles; the blonde woman frowned distastefully at the thought of cleaning them up again, but she decided that there wasn't much of an alternative. Since the heat was so strong, people would be coming in all day.
A man with a mullet suddenly appeared in the front with an instrument only known as a sitar; he took a seat on the counter and began to pluck the strings, setting a light, cheerful mood. The customers stopped to watch him as he continued his performance, slowly stopping the string of customers; he turned and gave the blonde woman a wink, which she quickly assumed was her cue to clean.
The woman stripped off her apron and quickly proceeded to the outdoor tables, collecting empty cups and spoons before wiping them down; she ran back inside and grabbed her mop, cleaning up after her dirty customers while her boss continued his gentle melody. Delicately propping a 'wet floor' sign up on the ground, she threw the mop back behind the counter and ran back to the register, where a small line was forming. As she began to collect money again, the music stopped, and she smiled.
"Thanks, Demyx," she whispered as the small crowd clapped. Demyx returned her smile and took a bow.
"No problem, Naminé. I'll help today."
The young woman – Naminé - bowed to show her thanks before manning the cash register again; she watched her boss pick up an old apron from the corner of her eye.
"Thank you, Naminé. It's an honor to be served by you," a young couple said as she handed them their change. She shook her head and smiled as a reply.
"Enjoy your frozen yogurt!" she answered cheerfully – casually avoiding the 'honor' subject – and waved as the couple departed.
Newspapers littered the clean tables of the restaurant, and every single one had her face on it; she ignored this fact daily, as Demyx had vehemently disagreed to throwing them out. The headline read 'Heir to Shinra Companies finds fiancé?' followed by her senior picture; very pretty, manicured and clean, just the way Kairi liked it. The story was everywhere; the press had followed her around for at least a month. But two years had passed since the incident, and she was free again, working daily at the frozen yogurt shop despite her newly inherited wealth.
Looking at the newspapers brought up painful memories of her past; the terrible talk with Scarlet Shinra that ended with a mental breakdown, the horrible goodbye to her fiancé, and the two years of agony waiting for his return; she busied herself with work at both the frozen yogurt story and Shinra's art department, along with her studies at the University to keep her mind away from these thoughts. But no matter what she did, the memories would resurface and turn her mood a slight bit more sour.
Seems like there's always someone who
D I s a p p r o v e s
They'll judge us like they know about me and you
But the verdict comes from those with nothing else to lose
The jury's out
But my choice is y o u…
Taking money from the last customer in line, she sighed before relaxing against the counter. Two years; he should be returning soon. After all, High school was finished for the both of them, and boarding school was now in his past. He should have been back months ago; but according to his letters, he had Shinra business to attend to.
She held onto his letters like a lifeline; they constantly reminded her that she was not forgotten. He wrote to her about everything; the punishments at Castle Oblivion Boarding School, the horrible lunches, and often, how much he missed her. She replied whole-heartedly with her boring work schedule and the progress of their future portion of Shinra Companies. The void was never properly filled, however.
This was the very first page
Not where the s t o r y b o o k ends
My thoughts will echo your name
Until I see you a g a I n…
She recalled that night, when Rufus Shinra called the family meeting and she had intruded. The day when Scarlet Shinra changed her mind about her, and asked her that horrid question that plagued her sixteen year old mind. She smiled at this particular memory; it turned out to be one of her better ones.
Do you love Roxas?
That question that seemed so impossibly hard to answer wasn't that difficult at all; many moments of her life flashed before her eyes after that question was left to hang in the air. She remembered the window at school, the tree, and their fateful meeting in the frozen yogurt store. The stain, the rose, the party, everything flooded her like a tidal wave. She never felt so many emotions at once before in her life. But there was something in that moment that made her look to Roxas; the flicker of a million emotions displayed his nervousness. That moment, sharing each other's thoughts and feelings through a mere glance, decided her answer.
Of course, the whole household decided to throw a party in their honor; leading the celebration, none other than Kairi. Within the hour, in front of hundreds of noble men and women across the country, Roxas and Naminé were engaged. It was strange, being introduced as Lady Naminé Shinra, heir to Shinra Enterprises and fiancé of Roxas Shinra, but Roxas's firm hold on her hand kept her from reeling; he refused to let her go for the remainder of the night. However, as midnight approached, Scarlet Shinra delivered the bad news; Roxas still had to leave for C.O.B.S. (A/N: lol COBS. Castle Oblivion Boarding School) the new couple wasn't very disappointed, however. They decided to just spend the time they had together peacefully.
Your hands are tough but they are where
Mine b e l o n g in
I'll fight their doubt and give you f a i t h
With this song for you…
The next day, when she and her father were invited to Shinra manor, she was met with an unexpected surprise; Rufus was offering her father a job in the weapons department (Sora's new department, as it was later announced) and a room in the manor to stay in. Her father accepted tearfully and even hugged Rufus; he could only awkwardly pat her father on the back as he cried. Naminé was happy for him, and when Rufus offered to show him his new room, she persuaded him to go on without her; Rufus happily offered to be his tour guide. They left soon after to 'bond'.
Roxas had come as soon as her father had left; he was quiet, but seemed to be overflowing with both nervousness and excitement. Naminé was a little confused, but took his hand and allowed him to lead her to his room.
Naminé smiled; this was one of her most treasured memories, and she even released a small giggle as her heart warmed.
Roxas had taken her out onto his balcony, into the unexpectedly warm winter air. The sun was high in the sky and a gentle breeze hugged her arms. She resisted the urge to admire the scenery and kept her gaze focused on Roxas, who was eagerly fishing around in his many pockets for something.
At long last, he pulled out a velvet box; with the pop of the lid, a beautifully priceless diamond ring was glittering in the sunlight.
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring
Marry me J u l i e t
You'll never have to be alone
I l o v e you and that's all I really know…
Naminé twirled the silver band around on her finger, letting the small diamond send glittering lights all across the walls. It was a simple little thing, really; the silver was stainless, with nothing special about it except the engraved pattern wrapping itself all the way around it. The diamond nestled on top was a tiny little thing with a light blue tint, but sparkled brighter than any gem in the world. Roxas had told her that the gem was almost an exact replica of the color of her eyes; a warm icy blue that glittered. She sighed blissfully before grabbing a rag and walking around the counter, planning to clean the toppings area – the small children that came in were like a tornado, and the whole set up was a giant mess.
While wiping bits of chocolate sauce off of the glass covering, her mind wandered again, back to her past, two year ago. After his flawless engagement, Roxas had to leave; when she brought up the subject of unfairness, he only smirked and told her that if he didn't propose now, then when he came back, she might belong to someone else. Despite her denying, his answer didn't change; he only responded with "Just to be sure."
She rolled her eyes just thinking about it. He went through all that trouble to win her over, and when he finally did, he was worried about her leaving? Men were so silly.
At the airport, the farewell was oddly…comfortable. Roxas held onto her hand until the very last second, and as he was walking away, he promised write before disappearing through the crowd. Before she could walk away, however, he called to her again and as she turned around to face him, she was greeted once again with one of his surprise kisses. Before she could respond, he was lost in the sea of travelers.
After plucking some peanuts out of the small cracks in between containers, Naminé sighed and resigned herself back behind the counter to people watch and get her mind off of his departure.
As if sensing her boredom from Mochizuki Incorporations, her phone began to jingle with Kairi's famous ringtone; she picked it up on the second ring.
Her best friend jumped straight to the point. "Oh my god, Naminé! Roxas is back in town! Aren't you excited?"
She released a small chuckle before absently wiping the counter top. "Yeah. But it's still a little hard to get excited when you're bored and stuck behind a cash register for another two hours."
Kairi scoffed on the other line. "I told you to get rid of that job a long time ago-"
"I can't just leave Demyx hanging! He's helped me out a lot!"
"I know, I know, but still. Ven and Shizuka went to pick Roxas up from the airport; he'll be at home when you're done with work."
the thought made her heart skip a beat and she began to twirl her ring again. "That's great," She breathed, smiling.
Kairi didn't find her reaction enthusiastic enough. "Don't die from excitement Naminé. Roxas's heart will break," She scoffed playfully.
"Shut up, Kairi! I'm just…nervous," she admitted. Her engagement ring continued to twirl around and around.
"I don't really know. What do I say to him?"
"Nothing. Just kiss that fool!" came Kairi's witty response. Naminé rolled her eyes. "Of course you would say that. Oh, I have customers, Kai. I'll call you later," she bid, quickly stuffing her phone back into her pocket. She put on her fake smile and sang out the Sakuranbo greeting as a small group of people filed in. She checked each person out and took her congratulatory compliments earnestly.
Suddenly, two medium sized cups with cheesecake frozen yogurt slid into her view. Upon further inspection, she noticed the colorful dots of gummy bears. She smiled and totaled the customer's pay; the man silently pulled out exact change and stared at her.
"That's a nice choice, sir. I hope you enjoy it," she said sincerely. She thought the man was a bit odd. He was wearing a thick overcoat with a baseball hat and his hood on over it. Sunglasses and a scarf blocked off his entire face, and his hands were gloved. Naminé couldn't really understand his fashion choices, especially when it was at least a hundred degrees outside; maybe he was one of those people who were afraid of sunlight or something.
And you stood there in front of me just
Close enough to t o u c h
Close enough to hope you
Couldn't see what I've been thinking of…
"Naminé Shinra, huh?" the man grunted, his scarf muffling his voice slightly. Naminé twitched, slightly flustered. The man's voice was so husky and deep, yet vaguely familiar…it sent shivers down her spine.
"Not quite yet, sir. I'm still a Saito," she responded, a blush staining her cheeks. The man seemed to frown under his mask.
"I'd say that Naminé Shinra suits you better than Naminé Saito," he commented gruffly. She blushed again; why was this man pestering her?
"Where's you meet Roxas?"
The question didn't throw her into confusion; she had been asked the same question almost every day by curious customers. Answering it seemed like a script by now.
"I met him here, in this store," she answered politely. The man thrust one of the cheesecake filled cups into her hands and leaned onto the counter. Naminé frowned at the frozen yogurt.
"Take it. It's your favorite, after all," he told her gruffly. She narrowed her eyes at him; no one really knew what her favorite style of Froyo was. Who was this man?
"Thank you," she said none the less, stabbing the creamy substance with a spoon but leaving it alone. "Why did you buy me a frozen yogurt?"
"Because you're pretty," he responded naturally.
Naminé's eyes narrowed more still. "I'm engaged, as you know," she replied stiffly. She moved around the counter and grabbed a rag, intentionally trying to get away from the stranger. However, just as she rounded the counter, a little boy flew by with an overflowing cup of pink strawberry-banana frozen yogurt; when she collided with the boy, her contents spilled all over her white dress.
She groaned; this dress was most certainly a frozen yogurt magnet. She mentally chided her stupidity; she should have remembered to put her apron back on, but she was too lost in her thoughts. After assuring the child's mother that she was fine, she began scrubbing away at the red stain.
I'm on guard with the rest of the world
But with you I know it's no good
And I could wait patiently but
I really wish you would
Drop e v e r y t h i n g now…
Warm hands encased her own; she froze, her body going rigid, as the hands gently guided her fingers to dab the stain, not rub it in. she recognized the sleeve of the coat as the stranger's from before; suddenly, she felt violated.
"Please, I can handle this. You don't have to trouble yourself," she told the man, pulling away from his embrace. His hand didn't relent, however, and she was soon crashing into his chest.
"I insist," he mumbled into her ear, sending more shivers down her spine. The man was a head taller than her, and could easily hold her in his embrace despite her struggles. She felt so uncomfortable, but at the same time, she felt like she belonged in his arms; a sense of guilt flooded her as she imagined Roxas's face if he walked through the door and saw her in another man's embrace. With a final tug, she pulled away.
"P-please step away from my personal bubble," she mumbled quietly, snatching the rag away from him and furiously rubbing away at the stain. The man took her hand again and grasped the rag.
"It comes out better if you dab it. Watch," he told her, doing as he said. Naminé stood there numbly and let him work, giving in. she would just have to get away somehow.
"There, see? Isn't that better?" he cooed. She looked at the stain, and naturally, the stranger was right; she was suddenly reminded of her last run-in with frozen yogurt, when Roxas had done exactly the same thing. She shook her head and fought the urge to smile.
"Thank you," she bade, turning on her heel to walk away. The man snatched her wrist and pulled her close again.
"I'm not done with you."
Naminé processed the words carefully before deciding to panic. Why wasn't anyone helping her? There were so many people in the store, yet no one was bothering to come to her aid. Did no one see the distress on her face, or find the man scary looking? She suddenly felt like she needed to scream.
She couldn't finish her warning call; warm lips were upon hers, soft and tender, yet fierce. The kiss was hungry, demanding even. She could feel the painful feelings this man held through his gentle touch. When he pulled away, she felt numb, elated, and guilty for enjoying the kiss.
The man pulled back, shoved his hands into his trench-coat pockets, and braced himself.
Naminé's reaction was immediate as her hand pulled back to deliver a strong burst of power into the stranger's face. She felt so ashamed, letting a stranger take advantage of her like that. She was engaged! She had a fiancé! But her worst feeling was guilt over the fact that the kiss was amazing and it literally knocked her off of her feet. No one else should have been allowed to kiss her except Roxas. How dare she disgrace him by kissing another man? She felt horrible.
"You pervert!" she screeched, pulling her hand back to deliver another blow. The man caught it in the air, pulling his trench-coat and hat off, revealing a spiky head of dirty-blonde hair. Naminé's eyes widened in disbelief.
"Same response as last time, froyo counter girl. Is that any way to greet your fiancé after being apart for two years?"
She stared at Roxas and took in his appearance. His hair was slightly longer, and his spikes were hanging in front of his eyes, but otherwise, there was no difference. He looked exactly the same as he did two years ago, minus the tacky outfit. Her body went numb as she processed the events of the last five minutes. The stranger. Cheesecake frozen yogurt. Little kid. Dab, not rub. Spontaneous kiss. Everything was Roxas. Slowly, her body began to unthaw. She stared into his unchanging ocean blue eyes until they were blurry with tears.
Get me with those b l u e eyes baby
As the lights go down
Give me something that will haunt me when you're not around…
"Seriously, counter girl. Are you crying?" he joked gently, patting her on the head as silent tears streamed down her face. She sniffed in response. "You are crying."
She flung herself at him, her sobs breaking through to loud painful wails as she squeezed him as tightly as possible, refusing to let go. Roxas whole-heartedly returned the embrace, and the two fell to the floor in a heap; the customers around them began to applaud and take pictures.
"T-this is all your i-idea!" Naminé accused bitterly between sobs. Roxas stroked her hair as a response, cooing. When she was calm enough, he picked her up and dusted her off.
She turned around at the voice and was surprised to see her boss and future sister-in-law, Shizuka; her hair was long now, and pulled back into a ponytail. Naminé wondered how she managed to miss seeing her here.
Suddenly, Ven popped up from behind the counter. "He insisted on stopping by because he couldn't wait to see you," he explained with a lopsided smirk, pushing his glasses up higher onto his nose.
"Did you like your little surprise?" Shizuka asked. Naminé, still sniffling from her crying fit, nodded. She squeezed Roxas's hand like a vice.
"Well, the family's waiting. We better get home," Ven said, checking the clock on the far wall. He sent a thumbs-up to Demyx before moving besides Shizuka. Demyx winked at Naminé before shrinking back into his hidey-hole.
"They're throwing me a party. Will you come?" Roxas asked cutely, bringing a rose out from behind his back. Despite her hysterics, Naminé laughed. It was like a blast from the past; being asked to a party with a rose. She hugged Roxas again and held onto him tightly, as if he would disappear.
Don't you let it go
I'm w o n d e r s t r u c k
Blushing all the way home
I'll spend forever wondering if you knew
I was E n c h a n t e d to meet you…
Naminé knew he was real. He wasn't a dream. He was really there, in her arms, hugging her back. After two long years of endurance, he was back. The ring on her finger seemed to come to life as it shot twice as many rainbow colored lights around the room; everything seemed brighter again. When she finally pulled away, she initiated something she would never normally do; she grabbed his collar and brought him down, crashing her lips against his.
When they pulled away, Roxas was grinning. "I missed you too."
I miss you, I missed you all along
And I need you
Been far away for far too l o n g…
They both laughed; Naminé felt so complete again. Her everyday boring lifestyle would finally change for the better now that Roxas was back. She felt giddy with excitement as she pulled him towards the door, surprisingly excited for a party for once. Roxas chuckled before turning back, snatching two cups off of the counter. He handed one to her.
"Cheesecake topped with gummy bears. Your favorite," he said with a smile. She grinned back and took the spoon, popping a bite into her mouth.
"Yeah. My favorite."
And she knew everything was right again. Naminé Saito was still the same hardworking, quiet, busy-body with two jobs and University classes that she was before. She was still supporting her father, though they no longer had to scrape by. She was still the pure innocent child who didn't believe in love until it snuck up on her.
With her hand entwined with Roxas's, she knew that everything was going to be alright; so without worries, she took a huge bite out of her never changing classical favorite frozen yogurt.
"My favorite. Cheesecake Topped With Gummy Bears," she murmured, grinning.
Her love pain was finally over.
Life makes love look hard.
The stakes are high;
The water's rough,
But this love is
Songs Used: Enchanted, Ours, Sparks Fly - Taylor Swift
Far Away - Nickleback