Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or worlds herein; they are property of Square Enix, Tim Burton, and Disney. The only rights to which I have are the creative contexts, writing, and original plots created in this fiction.
Genre: Romance, Friendship, General
Rating: Mature, for Romance and Lemons
The gummi ship rose into the stars without any difficulty. Since Sora left Christmas Town, the sprig of mistletoe was always in his breast pocket, rubbing up against his chest. Once Sora had pulled from the gravitational orbit of the Holidays' World, he switched the ship to auto pilot and leaned back in the chair. He stared blankly into the expanse of black, peppered with tiny stars and shining worlds. His hand automatically rested atop the pocket with the mistletoe. Sora couldn't wait to see Kairi. Since Santa had touched him, something had awakened within him. The longing he had for Kairi was so strong, powerful; it was as though he hadn't seen her in years. He had the high of falling in love again.
It made the next seven days that much more difficult to go through. Since he had found the Door to the Light three years ago with Riku, his job as Keyblade Master had become one of universal peacekeeping. He became the right hand of the King, along with Donald and Goofy, of course. While he enjoyed these adventures, he always found himself homesick for the sun drenched shores of his home world – but most of all, homesick for his lovely island Princess. Since they had started dating a few years ago, Riku often tried to allow Sora to be at home with Kairi as much as possible. But, there were some things only a Keyblade could do.
The Gummi dashboard whirred and blinked. Swiveling in the chair, Sora got up and loaded the call onto the monitor. Immediately, the large visages of Donald and Goofy were on the screen.
"H'yuck, hi there, Sora!" Goofy said brightly.
"How's Jack? And Santa? Did you find out you-know-what for me?" Donald quacked. Sora grinned broadly at his close friends and companions.
"Sorry, Donald, I didn't get to ask if you were on the nice list." At this news, the wizard duck sighed. Goofy pushed aside the disappointed Donald to speak directly to Sora.
"Sora, are ya gunna come back to tha castle soon? The King has one last assignment for us."
Donald wasn't pleased at being left out of the conversation. "Move over, ya Big Palooka!" He shouted, shoving Goofy off screen.
"I was planning on heading straight over to Atlantica. Why does the King need me to stop by the castle?"
"He said he wants us to come along, too. You know how touchy King Trident is with Keyblade Masters." Donald said. At this, Sora couldn't disagree. Any discussion with that man usually went as smoothly as trying to persuade a brick wall to move.
"Alright, guys, I'm warping there now." Sora said. He shut off the communication before fastening his seatbelt and preparing the Gummi for a warp. Once set, he leaned back and prepared for the jolt. As the Gummi burst into warp speed, Sora's stomach flipped and danced. He placed his hand over the mistletoe, not letting go until the Gummi ship slowed and rested in the gravitational field of Disney Castle.
Just one more assignment, and then we get to be with each other for Christmas, Namine. Sora thought. As he was preparing to transport to the surface, he caught himself. Namine? Why had he thought of Namine? Oh, well. Namine was a part of Kairi, so it wasn't as if he was thinking of another woman. With that, Sora teleported to Disney Castle's throne room.
The one thing Kairi always hated about Destiny Islands was the lack of snow. Snow was like that magical icing that made December so much more mystical. But in the tropics, any precipitation came in thick, fat raindrops. The closest they ever got to snow was a weak layer of frosted dew on the grass that was quickly melted by the sunrise. She had finished decorating the old, leased house she, Sora, Riku, and Selphie lived in. It was quaint, just big enough for four people, and now filled with Christmas spirit.
"When 's Sora getting back, Kairi?" Selphie asked, arm covered in garland as she put the finishing touches on the stairway railing.
"He should be getting back tomorrow; Riku told me that Sora would be done with his duties by the twentieth." Kairi said, unable to keep the impatience from her voice. She was excited to spend Christmas with her love, especially since his duties had kept him from spending Thanksgiving in Destiny Islands. Selphie wound the last bit of Garland onto the rail before hopping down the stairs and crash-hugging Kairi.
"You are just sooooo cute!" Selphie exclaimed before releasing her friend from the assault-hug. Kairi gasped, feeling her ribs relax and groan after being squeezed to death.
"Very funny. What about you and Tidus? Aren't you the cute couple?"
"We'd be cute if Tidus didn't play blitzball with Wakka all the goddamn time. I'm lucky that Blitz doesn't have a vagina, cause if it did, Tidus would marry it." Selphie groaned. Kairi couldn't help but laugh. Selphie was at first serious, but soon giggled as well.
"You're gonna be cooking the dinner, right?" Kairi asked.
"Well, duh; I'm not letting you anywhere near the kitchen." Selphie chuckled. The two girls then grabbed the lights and outdoor decorations as they prepared to finish up outside. Riku already had the ladder set up as he put a coat of fake snow on the roof.
"You girls done gossiping and wanna help me?" He shouted.
"Not if you're gonna keep that attitude up, mister." Kairi sassed. She and Selphie unraveled the multicolored lights. Kairi stood on the bottom of the ladder, helping to feed the lighting to Riku as he nailed it into place.
"So how many people are coming to the party?" Riku asked casually.
"Well," Kairi began, "we are definitely having: Wakka, Lulu, Selphie, Tidus, you, me, Sora, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Scrooge McDuck, Jiminy Crickett, and Donald's nephews. I haven't heard back from anyone at Radiant Garden."
"I think they told me they're having their own Christmas and Chanukah party." Riku said.
"And you were planning on telling us, when?" Selphie asked, annoyed.
"I forgot, so sue me."
"Riku, I'm the one cooking. I have to know how many I'm cooking for!"
"At least Scrooge is giving us the Christmas turkey." Riku offered politely. Selphie and Kairi groaned at his social ineptitude. Once the lights were strung, they took down the ladder and started to place the reindeer randomly in the green lawn. Riku seemed to be holding something in. Kairi continuously glanced at him, trying to read his aquamarine eyes and his nondescript lips.
"Riku, is there something else you need to tell us?" Kairi asked. Riku seemed surprised by the sudden question.
"Well," he began, but he trailed off and didn't continue. Kairi didn't press further. By the time the sun sat on the water, painting the heavens and sea in crimsons and golds, all the decorations were up (except for the ornaments on the tree). Exhausted and hungry, the three decided to lock up and go out for sushi. Night had fallen quickly, leaving them to navigate the familiar streets by lamp light.
Their dinner was cheap, good, and casual. Most of the dinner conversation was idled away by excited holiday chatter and Selphie's humorous rants about Tidus. Occasionally, Riku would pipe in with an anecdote or two, but for the most part, he was quieter than usual. Most of the time conversations were littered with his quips and comebacks, but his mind seemed preoccupied. It wasn't until Selphie left the small sushi bar to go to the movies with Tidus that Kairi pressed Riku further.
"Riku, what's up?" She asked. This time, he didn't get sidetracked or play dumb.
"I was wondering...could...could I invite someone to the Christmas dinner?" He asked. Kairi nearly fell out of her seat laughing. The reaction to his request didn't seem promising. Riku just lowered his gaze, letting shadows become familiar comforts to him.
"Is that all it was about?" Kairi laughed, composing herself. "Of course you can!"
Riku gave a smile smile at the pleasant response.
"So whose the lucky guy?" Kairi asked softly.
"He's a pilot I met a few months ago when my gummi ship broke down." Riku said, eyes waltzing with excitement. As they walked back to their house, Kairi pressed Riku for more on this mysterious man.
"How old is he?"
"Rockin' the cradle, huh?" She winked.
"He's in the Interstellar Academy right now."
"Ooo, a college kid. What's his name?"
"Jim and Riku...Jimku? Rikim?"
"Please don't make our names into some sort of fanfiction shipping." Riku plead. Kairi laughed and stopped prying once they got back to the house. For a moment, Kairi paused and soaked in the scene. The house looked like it had been plunged into a winter wonderland. Reigndeer were grazing in the front yard, lights shone on the snow-covered rooftop, and the evergreen tree sat proudly in the front bay window. The wreath on the door was wrapped in velvet and pine cones, inviting all to come inside. Her heart was heavy for a moment, even looking at all the joy. Riku laid a hand on her shoulder, massaging with his strong fingers.
"He'll be here tomorrow. The King told me he would."
"I know. It's just...I don't know what's come over me, but suddenly I feel like I haven't seen him for years..." Kairi suddenly began to sob. Riku was just as startled as Kairi. She curiously wiped tears from her eyes.
"W-why am I c-crying?" She sobbed. She sniffled and coughed, sucking it up and trying to get rid of the weight on her chest. She went into the kitchen to heat up the water for hot chocolate, trying to calm herself and figure out why she was crying. Why am I crying like a little girl? Roxas will be here tomorrow. She thought. As she went about the motions, she realized she hadn't thought of Sora. No; she thought of Roxas. But why? The kettle whistled, breaking her thoughts. She poured the water into the two mugs for herself and Riku. Kairi assumed she was just tired from decorating. With hot chocolates in hand, she went into the living room to watch Christmas specials with Riku and drown out the strange impatience and heaviness that had settled upon her.