Chapter 1: Polar Ends
"Naminé, you know Mom won't let me go unless you come too!"
The young blonde, Naminé, rolled her eyes. Despite her efforts to avoid the redhead, the girl managed to corner her anyway. And what better place to trap someone than the bathroom of her own room? "Well I'm sorry, but going there means that I'll have to deal with him again. Quite frankly, I planned on enjoying this summer."
"Doing what exactly? It's not like there's anything to do when all of our friends are off vacationing somewhere else!" The redhead raised her arms from her side. "Don't you want to see Riku and Sora too?"
"I'll think of something, Kairi. And I'll just talk to them online. It's not a huge loss." Naminé made a motion to pass her twin sister, but was blocked. "Are you seriously doing this?"
"There's only one way out of this room, and that's through me. And I'm not letting you out until you say yes." Two pairs of blue eyes locked in a glaring contest. Strands of auburn hair fell forward as Kairi mustered her most intimidating look.
Unfazed, Naminé lightly blew at Kairi's hair. "If I have to wait here forever, I will. I got a bag of potato chips and a toilet and damn it, I will make it last."
"You're bluffing. We're close, but you wouldn't poop in front of me. That's just disgusting and indecent."
"I will if it means I don't have to see him this summer." Naminé's voice was strong with resolve. "I mean it this time, Kairi. Just try to convince Mom to let you go alone this year."
Kairi looked her sister over. She knew all along that Naminé would resist her plan to spend the summer at their father's house at Destiny Islands. Though Naminé had no bitter feelings toward their parents, she always resented visiting Destiny Islands because of a simple boy.
But, like every year, Kairi had an ace up her sleeve. Being the devious little schemer (a self-proclaimed title) she was, Kairi used every academic year to collect blackmail on her sister.
"Fine. If that's how you're going to play, then I'll play mean too. You are coming with me to Destiny Islands, Naminé." Kairi crossed her arms and stood taller over her younger sister of six minutes.
"Or what?" Naminé didn't seem impressed. She sat on the counter and ate her chips nonchalantly.
"I'll tell mom that it was actually you who knocked the mailbox over with the car last spring break."
Naminé giggled. "Oh please. She's over that, Kairi. Plus, I already paid you back for the damages." The blond casually looked at her nails. "What's next?"
"Mom's gardening tools?" Kairi smirked at her sister's change of face. "That's right. The ones she uses every summer. I know you ran over them and broke her favorite trowel and, amazingly, you broke the rake too. I wouldn't want to be around to feel her wrath, if I were you…"
Naminé brought a hand to her chin in thought. "Hmm. Good one, Kairi. But!" she tilted her head, smiling knowingly. "I already bought mom a new one. Sorry Kairi, but you're going to have to try a little harder than that."
"The scratch on the passenger's side door?"
"Already buffed it out."
"Well there's the coffee stain on—"
"Please. Most of it fell on the rubber mat. Scrubbing the drop on the car carpet was nothing." Naminé looked at her sister expectantly. "Is that all? Good. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some fun things to do. Things that don't involve annoying boys or being taken away from home against my will." The younger twin walked over to the bathroom door and unlocked it.
Kairi growled. So her sister came prepared this year. Fine. Kairi hoped it wouldn't resort to the last option, but Naminé played a hard hand. Her hand shot out and grabbed the blonde's wrist, preventing her from leaving the room. "Naminé. You will tell mom that you are coming with me to Destiny Islands." Tension rose as the two stared each other down. Was this a bluff? "That, or I'll tell mom the story of how you passed your driving test."
Naminé narrowed her eyes. Impossible. Out of everything that happened in the past year, Naminé prepared a counter to all of it. Her sister had managed to blackmail her into these things for years now, so she was prepared. And now, when Kairi wanted to spend the longest time they have ever spent in their father's home since their parents' divorce, Kairi brought up the one thing— the only thing— that could subdue her. She never thought Kairi would be this… evil. "You promised you would never tell anyone, Kairi." She hissed at her sister.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures." This time Kairi was the one in power. Feeling rather epic and badass, she lightly blew her nails and casually glanced at her sister. "That's right, little Naminé. I'll tell Mom— and Dad will find out too— how Naminé, who strangely seems to be a very incompetent driver, ended up passing her driver's license test with a perfect score because of the charity of—"
"You wouldn't dare!"
"But I would." Kairi laughed maniacally, raising her hands and bending her fingers for added effect. "Unless, of course, you agree to go on this extremely fun and wonderful vacation with me. I for one think you have an easy decision." Kairi began to circle her sister like an interrogator. But, being that the bathroom was as small as it was, Naminé had to shift out of the way. She rolled her eyes as Kairi squeaked apologies when she passed by in the cramped space. Regaining her composure, Kairi continued. "Think about it: Mom and Dad will pay for everything while we're there. We'll have the whole house to ourselves. No chores, no waking up at eight in the morning, no work…"
Naminé looked away from her sister. Kairi had a point. Their summer home on Destiny Islands was an escape, after all. But still. He was there, and Kairi wanted to stay the whole summer. She was torn on what she wanted more: to hide the secret that would surely drive her parents to murder her ruthlessly (not to mention the illegal nature of it all), or to avoid him. She silently debated it in her mind. "Kairi…"
"It'll be fun, Naminé. We're sixteen now. We can drive— well I can, at least— and there's a whole life of the Islands we have yet to explore. Do you really think Mom and Dad knowing your secret is better than a summer with friends? And don't you miss your art room? I'm sure it misses you." Kairi leaned toward her twin, raising a brow. "Don't you want to see it again?"
Naminé's eyes widened. Another weak spot. "I…"
Kairi grinned. "I'm waiting…"
Naminé clenched her fists and bit down hard. Kairi was right. Incur the wrath of her parents, or put up with his presence for the summer? Though equally bad, one of the two options could be controlled. Her parents' anger was out of the question, no doubt; but she didn't have to spend every waking moment with her friends. She could go out when she pleased. And her studio. Her studio. Shivers ran throughout Naminé's body at the thought of her personal refuge. Not an art project went by without Naminé thinking about it.
"I don't know…" Naminé said softly. She felt like laughing. If it was anyone but her, the decision would be easy: go to the Islands. But for Namine, anything was better than going to the same exact place where that boy lived.
"Naminé, look at me." The blond looked up, meeting her twin's eyes. "As your older sister, I, Kairi, promise that we will visit the art store of your choice as soon as we leave the airport. I promise that. Even before we get to the house, I promise you that you will have all the supplies you need to last you the summer."
Naminé almost allowed herself to gasp. That was the nail in the coffin, but Kairi couldn't know that. If she did, she might try it in the future. "I guess I'll… I…"
A wide smile formed on Kairi's face. "Yes?" she sang out.
Naminé gulped. There was no turning back after this. "I'll talk to them. I'll tell them I'm going too."
On another side of the world and far from the bathroom of a particular set of twin sisters, a blond boy sat quietly in his room, staring at the video game paused on the screen of his TV. His back against his headboard, the boy stretched out his legs, a pillow wrapped tightly in his arms.
Summer was finally here. And what better way to spend the first weekend of it playing video games with his best friend? He allowed himself to smile. Today was perfect and peace—
"Roxas!" The door to said boy's room flew open. On the other side, an annoyingly-happy child bounced in place, squeezing his phone a little too tightly. His loose spikes of hair moved with him like his personal pep crowd.
Roxas hugged his pillow tighter. Sora. His brother could be so annoying sometimes. "I'm guessing you have a reason for barging into my room like this?"
"I do! It's great news, in fact. It's so great that you'll probably pee yourself. I mean, I did. But just a little though. Like a small amount. Like, not enough to soak myself through, but like the little bit of pee that accidentally slips out when you're suddenly scared or—"
"Sora…" Roxas rubbed his eyes. He could feel a headache coming on. "Why are you telling me this?"
Sora ran over and dove onto Roxas's bed, much to the chagrin of the owner. "Because I'm excited! You should be too!" Sora grabbed Roxas by the shoulders and shook him violently, all the while screaming in his face. "Why aren't you dying of excitement? Why?"
Roxas grabbed his brother's arms and, with little difficulty, freed himself from the seizure-inducing grasp. "If you wanted me dead— I've already deduced that you do, don't worry— then you'd tell me the reason why you're so…" He gestured at Sora with a free hand, "this."
"I didn't tell you yet? I didn't tell you the big news?" Roxas flinched backward from the volume of his brother's voice.
"Big news? Why is everyone yelling in here?" A raven-haired girl— the same age as the two brothers in the room— came running inside, screaming with equal enthusiasm. "What are we talking so loudly about?"
"The reason why I'm so excited! Do you wanna know too, Xion?"
"Of course I do! Gosh, do I love screaming at the top of my lungs or what?" Xion mirrored Sora's actions and ran onto the bed, bouncing like a child on Christmas morning. She stuck her tongue out when she realized Roxas was glaring at her.
She's doing this on purpose. He thought. Roxas brought his legs to his chest and hugged his pillow tighter on the bouncing bed. It was official: he was uncomfortable in his own room thanks to these two annoying people.
"Well," Sora dragged out much longer than necessary, "do you remember Kairi? Our friend who came to visit during spring break?" he wagged his finger between himself and Roxas as he explained.
"Of course! She was so nice. Pretty too."
"Isn't she?" Sora smiled widely. "Anyway, I just got a call from her. She—"
"I'm sorry to interrupt," Roxas held a hand up for temporary silence, "but can you two stop yelling please? Screaming your explanation does not make it any easier to understand or appreciate."
"Oh. My bad, Roxas. I hadn't realized…" Sora chuckled, folding his hands behind his head in slight embarrassment. He turned back to Xion. "As I was saying, I just got a call from her. She's staying at her father's house here for the rest of the summer. The rest of the summer, guys! That's like two months! Isn't that awesome?" Sora looked around the room expectantly, waiting for the others to respond similarly.
Roxas spoke first, breaking the awkward silence. "Oh. Cool."
"That's awesome, Sora!" Xion, making up for Roxas's lack of energy, cheered with the giddy brother.
"I know! And not only that, but Naminé is coming this time too! We haven't seen her since last summer, and they didn't even stay that long last time!"
Roxas scowled. "You don't hear me complaining…"
Xion frowned. "Roxas, what's with that face?" She then turned to Sora when he refused to speak. "Fill me in, Sora. I was gone last summer when they came here, so I haven't met Naminé yet. What's she like?"
"An ice queen. A cold-hearted witch. I could go on." Roxas said angrily. Sora turned around to give his brother a frown.
"Hey, that's not nice!" he said defensively. Roxas only stared back, refusing to apologize for his words. Sora sighed. "Naminé is Kairi's twin sister. Contrary to Roxas's description, Naminé is just as nice and friendly. She and Roxas just have… this thing."
"It's not a thing, Sora. She's an annoying, spoiled and self-centered rich girl who doesn't—"
"Let's just say there's a lot of tension between them." Sora interrupted with a nervous laugh.
Xion looked at Roxas. He averted his gaze and hid his face in his pillow. "That's no good, Roxas. You have the whole summer to make amends. I think you should try."
"Are you kidding me? With her here, summer will pretty much suck. I'm going to do whatever it takes to avoid seeing her at all."
Sora shook his head. "Um, about that…"
Roxas looked at his brother, glaring daggers. "What now?"
"Kairi's mom asked our mom if we would pick them up from the airport. That's in two days." Sora said sheepishly. "You'll be one of the first people to see her that way." The room quickly fell silent. Sora looked around the room innocently, pressing his lips together. Xion looked at Sora, then at Roxas, and then back to Sora, waiting for something to happen.
Roxas's eye twitched. "No can do. I have to work."
"Um… not at eight in the morning. Your shift doesn't start until…ten… actually…" Sora again fell silent at the look he was receiving. "Oh come on! Don't get mad at me! Mom is the one who volunteered both of us!"
"You can go by yourself. I don't see why one person isn't enough. They have arms. They can lift their own bags." Roxas ignored the angry look Xion was giving him.
"But Roxas," Sora whined dramatically, "I don't know how to get to the airport from our house! I'll get lost!"
"Then use the GPS and— never mind." Roxas ran his hands through his hair in frustration.
Sora chuckled. "Yeah, that didn't turn out so well last time. I don't really like those things."
Roxas looked at Xion, an idea forming in his head. "Xion, you said you wanted to meet Kairi's sister." Xion rolled her eyes. Roxas was being awfully dramatic if he refused to say her name. "Why don't you go with Sora in my place?"
"Oh no you don't." Xion crossed her arms. "You are going with your brother, Roxas. I'll have more than one opportunity to meet her. Besides, how do you think you'll get to work with no car? Sora can drop you off."
Roxas scowled. Sora spoke up, "Roxas, if you won't listen to me, at least listen to your best friend. Mom is going to be angry if you don't go."
"What's she going to do? Restrict us from seeing them? Keep me from working?" Roxas scoffed.
"She said she'll make you their driver for the rest of the summer if you don't agree to pick them up just this once." Sora said quietly. "Come on, Roxas. It can't be that bad. As soon as we pick them up, I'll drop you off at work. Sound good?"
"Oh quit brooding like that, Roxas." Xion crossed her arms. "It's just one car ride. Put up with it for a few minutes of your life and then go to work. I'll pick you up when you finish and we can get some ice cream."
Roxas juggled his options in his mind. If he could put up with this one drive, then maybe he could salvage some fun out of this summer. He lowered the pillow from his face, laying it flat across his lap.
"Fine. I'll go."
Redeeming Endeavor: I'm writing this story in hopes that I'll make readers (you!) smile, laugh, think, and enjoy what they're reading, even though it only tributes and parallels the KH universe we all came to love.
Chapter Data- Total writing/editing time: 280 minutes. Word Count: 2,784. For more thoughts on the chapter, visit my LJ (See profile, homepage).
Take care, and I'll see you around!