A/N: Hello dearies, I'm back with more fic. And given that I've written like five stories in the last few weeks I think 2012 might just be a productive year. You'll see a few things posted from me over the next few days. Never fear, because no matter how long I might go missing for, I am not abandoning this fandom. ALSO! I'm thinking of doing a little vlog for all of you to thank you all for existing. Details at the bottom. ONWARDS!
sokai, post KH2
Fools Rush In
"And, so, Kairi, we've been friends for a really long time now, and you've always been really special to me, and I was just wondering if you'd like to go out with me sometime."
"Well I'd tell you yes."
Sora yelped and spun around, nearly tripping over the layer of books and dirty clothes coating his bedroom floor. His mother looked on, amused, as she leaned against the doorframe with a laundry basket propped against her hip.
"Yeah, well, good to know I'm at least capable of charming my own mother," Sora grumbled, scratching the back of his neck. He frowned at his mother's barely-concealed giggles. "Stop mocking me."
"What makes you think I'm mocking you?"
"You're giving me that look again."
"The 'that's so adorable you think you're so determined' look. Like you're just humoring me because you don't think I can do this."
"I do too think you can do this!"
"Good," Sora replied, nodding and crossing his arms over his chest. "Because I can. And I will. Today."
His mother nodded in a slightly exaggerated manner. "I'm sure you will."
"You're doing it again!"
She cracked a sympathetic smile. "Well Sora, it'd be much easier to take you seriously if you hadn't told me the exact same thing for the past five days."
"Yeah, well, today's different."
Sora turned back to his mirror and gave his reflection a smile. "Today's Saturday, and that means no school, no homework, no distractions. And no Riku, because he's in detention."
"He got caught in the janitor's closet with that new girl from the south island. So it's just gonna be me, and Kairi, and my determination to finally ask her out. I'm meeting her at the island at 10:30."
"Don't you mean 11:30?"
"No, I mean 10:30."
"Really?" His mother glanced at her watch. "Because it's 10:20 now."
"WHAT?" Sora ignored his mother's less-than-supportive smirk as he tore around his room searching for his shoes.
"Don't you just love when your plans get off to such a great start?" Sora stopped to glare at his mother as he rushed out his bedroom door. She smiled. "I'm kidding. You know I'm rooting for you." She kissed his forehead. "Good luck."
"…and it's totally ridiculous, right, because everybody but them can see it, so like I told her…" Sora nodded along to Kairi's chatter even though he didn't have the slightest clue what she was talking about. He was far too busy mentally preparing himself to ask her out.
You should just say it, he told himself. Forget working it into the conversation, that hasn't worked so far. Just come right out and say it, and she'll be too shocked to reject you right off. His stomach turned. ..or she'll be so shocked that she'll just go with her first gut instinct and tell me no. But she wouldn't do that, would she? She'd let me down easy, at least. And hey, what if she thinks I'm bold and is impressed and says yes? Something about this whole plan seemed inherently ridiculous but he ran with it anyway, as it was better than succumbing to cowardice.
Sora tuned himself back in to the conversation and waited for an opening while keeping up the constant stream of Just say it just say it just say it in his head.
"You know what I mean?"
"Um, yeah!" Oh lord what did I just agree to? Kairi smiled at him and looked down. The seconds ticked by and Sora knew he was going to have to take advantage of this pause before Kairi could start talking again. She was already opening her mouth. It was now or never—he was just going to have to say it—
"Do you wanna go out sometime?"
Sora stopped and stared, wide-eyed and slack-jawed as Kairi smiled shyly at him. This wasn't what was supposed to happen. He hadn't prepared for this. He was supposed to ask her out. That's what he'd spent the last week preparing for. When he finally found his voice he managed to choke out, "W-what?"
Kairi bit her lip and looked away, shrugging. "Do you wanna go out with me sometime? You know, on a date?" She brought her nervous gaze back up to his.
After a moment of doing his best impersonation of a fish Sora managed to splutter quite loudly, "No!"
Kairi jumped, startled by the force behind his rejection. She blinked at him, confusion evident on her face. "Well you don't have to say it like that," she mumbled, looking down at her feet.
The ramifications of what he'd just said sank in and Sora's brain went into full-on panic mode. "No, no, that's not what I meant." Kairi looked up with the slightest bit of hope on her face. "I just meant that you can't do this to me!" Her look of hurt and confusion turned into anger.
"Excuse me?" Sora could feel the blood drain out of his face as she glared at him.
"No, no, I just meant that-that-that," he groaned, "You're not supposed to ask me out!" Oh, that really wasn't helping. "No, no, I just mean that after everything, you're not allowed to do this to me!" The panic was swiftly rising in Sora's chest as he watched Kairi's expression grow more and more indignant. "No, no, no, no, I just I just-" Sora plunged his hands into his hair and desperately tried to come up with the right thing to say, but the only sentence his brain could come up with at the moment was DANGER, DANGER! ABORT MISSION, ABORT MISSION! "I just meant that this isn't how things were supposed to happen!"
Kairi made a sound somewhere between disgusted and indignant before standing and stalking away from the paopu tree where they had been sitting. Sora watched as she stormed off for a minute before his frenzied brain managed to send the message to his legs to follow her. He ran after her, nearly falling off the bridge as he tried to intercept her. He threw up his hands and Kairi stopped, crossing her arms over her chest and regarding him with a severe frown.
"Kairi, wait," he gasped, "Look, you just don't understand."
"No, Kairi, this just isn't how things were supposed to turn out."
Kairi's glare intensified. "And how exactly were they supposed to turn out, huh?" Sora faltered and took a step back. He would not put it past her to slap him right about now. "Look, if you didn't want to go out with me, then fine, but you do not," she jabbed a finger at his face, "get to react like this."
"But-" It was no good, she was on a roll now.
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to ask someone out?"
"I have been stressing myself out over this, and then I finally say something and you react like this?"
"No, no, I don't want to hear it. You don't get to do this to me." She jabbed her finger in his face again.
"No! I can't talk about this anymore! When did you turn into such a jerk, huh?" She pushed past him, nearly knocking him off the bridge. He watched, completely flabbergasted, as she stormed away. He had no idea what to do. No idea what would possibly defuse the bomb that was his current situation. All he did know was that he had to have set some kind of record for messing up a relationship before it had even begun.
Sora stared into space as he waited for the laughter coming from the phone held a foot from his ear to cease.
"Okay, okay, I'm done. I'm done."
"Really, you sure? Any more mocking you want to get out of your system?"
"No, I'm done, I promise." There was a moment of silence followed by a snicker.
"I'm sorry! I'm trying to be supportive here, but dude, you gotta admit, it takes talent to mess up getting asked out by the girl you were trying to ask out to begin with!" Sora could not understand what made Riku think he needed reminding of this. The irony had neither escaped him nor left him alone since the catastrophe had occurred.
"I told you, it threw me off! I never expected her to ask me out, and especially not at the exact moment I was about to ask her out."
"Which gives you license to gape for a few seconds and choke out a 'yes', not insult her and tell her she's not allowed to ask you out, and make her think there's something wrong with her for daring to ask you out. She probably thinks you're a misogynistic jerk by now."
Sora's jaw tightened. Normally he could disregard Riku's teasing as exactly that, but given the frustration he felt over the day's events he was finding Riku's lack of sympathy rather irritating. He's spent the better part of the day feeling like a large rock had taken up residence in his stomach and was sinking his whole body into the ground. "Is this supposed to be helping?" he asked, unable to keep the edge out of his voice.
"Sorry, I can't just get over it. Save the universe, no problem. Get asked out by the girl you like, total epic failure."
"Hanging up now." Riku must have noticed Sora's disheartened tone, as he quickly switched gears.
"Okay, okay, sorry. Look, you better apologize and explain, and do it without making a fool of yourself this time. Be prepared to grovel and beg her forgiveness."
"No tips on how to do that?"
"Maybe plan out what you're gonna say ahead of time so you don't end up panicking and accidentally insulting her again. And you should probably do it as soon as possible. Before Monday is ideal, because if she gets to school mad then you'll never date another girl as long as you live."
He could practically hear the eye-roll that accompanied Riku's sigh of exasperation. "You really don't know anything about girls, do you? They talk, Sora. They have a network. And whenever one of them is wronged, especially by a guy, she tells all her friends, and they tell their friends, until the entire female network knows which guy is a jerk and needs to be avoided at all costs."
Sora frowned. "But Kairi wouldn't do that, would she? She's not the gossiping kind of girl."
There was a pause. "Sora, do you really think Kairi's not going to tell her friends about how, when she asked out her best friend, he uncharacteristically flipped out on her? It's not a matter of intentionally sabotaging your reputation; it's a matter of her and her friends analyzing your behavior to work out what on earth you were on yesterday. That's what girls do."
Sora shifted uncomfortably. "But, still, that doesn't mean that everyone is gonna-" He was cut off when Riku groaned.
"Okay, Sora, let me put it this way: she's definitely going to tell Selphie."
Okay, then, Sora had to admit, he was most certainly screwed.
"…right. Best to apologize as soon as possible, then. I don't suppose I could convince you to help? I don't know that she'll even talk to me anymore."
"Look, you got the girl, man; she's your problem."
"What do you mean?"
"What do you mean, what do I mean?"
"You said I 'got the girl'. What did you mean by that?"
There was silence on the other end of the phone for so long that Sora began to think Riku had hung up. Finally, "…Sora, I'm really hoping I'm wrong, but are you really telling me that the one thing you didn't take from all this was that Kairi wants to date you?"
Sora suddenly felt like banging his head into the wall for overlooking that particular massive detail. He was none too keen on letting Riku know the depth of his stupidity but before he could think of a response that hid his humiliation, Riku was groaning again.
"Oh, Sora, understand that I say this with all the love and respect of a lifelong best friend, but dude, you are the biggest, dumbest moron to ever be trusted with care of the universe. I mean, I thought you were an idiot for not realizing how she felt about you before, but seriously, Sora, she asked you out and you still can't see how much she likes you?"
Sora felt like the heavy rock had resumed its occupation of his stomach. "Riku, I called hoping you could help me not feel like the world's biggest moron," he grumbled.
At this Riku laughed, though not unkindly. "Sora, you may be the world's biggest idiot, but you're an idiot with a hot redhead who adores you. Don't forget, you two have history. You've still got a shot with her, no matter how badly you bungled things this morning. Now get off the phone and go figure out what you're gonna say. You've been going on about this all week and the sooner you two get together the sooner I don't have to hear about it anymore. Plus I've got 5000 munny in the pool."
"Okay, okay I'm—wait, you guys have a pool going!" But it was already too late, Riku had hung up. Sora briefly considered calling him back and demanding to know why people were betting on his and Kairi's relationship status, but ultimately decided not to in favor of rehearsing what he would say to Kairi. After all, if he screwed this up, he would be out of a lot more than 5000 munny.
Girls were the most terrifying thing ever created.
This, Sora decided while walking quietly and cautiously towards the spot on the beach where Kairi sat making a necklace out of seashells. Having her back to him she was unaware of his approach, and Sora was none too eager to alert her. He stood silently some yards behind her and ran through in his head what he was going to say one last time before creeping towards her and stammering, "H-hey, Kairi."
Kairi's hands froze and her back stiffened. "What do you want?" She asked casually, resuming her work with the shells.
Sora took a deep breath. "Look, I wanted to apologize for what happened yesterday. And explain, because you didn't really give me a chance to do that, n-not that I blame you! It's just that I really gave you the wrong impression."
Kairi sighed and put down her shells. She stood, brushing sand off her dress and legs, and turned to face him. Sora gulped. She was watching him with crossed arms and an unreadable expression.
"Okay," he began, wondering how it could be so hot and so cold all at the same time, "Okay, I know I didn't exactly give you the most polite response yesterday."
"Huh. You think?"
Sora squirmed under her gaze for a moment before continuing. "But, the thing is, I just really wasn't expecting you to ask me out, beca-"
"Look," Kairi interrupted, looking away from him, "If you don't want to go out with me, fine, whatever, that's not why I'm mad-"
"But Kairi that's the thing!" She looked back at him and Sora's mouth went dry. "I did want to go out with you, I do want to go out with you!" Oh, good gracious those words really just came out of his mouth. He had actually done it, he'd actually said it. He rather felt he deserved a trophy. And also probably some new nerves, because now that that admission was out he felt like his own had shattered. Kairi, for her part, still looked quite calm. She had raised her eyebrows, but otherwise his confession had not had the revolutionary effect he had hoped it would. There was no going back, so he plowed on. "I was going to ask you out. Like, I was literally about to ask you out right before you asked me, and that's why I panicked."
Kairi's eyes narrowed and she frowned. "That's it? That's why you freaked out on me, because I beat you to the punch?"
Sora felt himself start to panic again. This was not going like he'd intended. "No, no, Kairi, you see, I've been trying to get up the nerve to ask you out all week. I rehearsed how I was gonna do it over and over again, and then when I finally, finally, was about to do it, you asked me. I hadn't prepared for that. I didn't know what I was supposed to do."
"You were supposed to say yes!" Kairi shouted. She groaned and buried her face in her hands. "Oh, you are such an idiot."
"So I've been told," Sora replied. He caught a glimpse of a small smile as Kairi's hands moved from her face to her hair. Encouraged, he continued, "And better an idiot than a jerk, right?"
Kairi didn't try to hide her smile this time. "I suppose."
Sora cautiously smiled. "So…does this mean I'm forgiven?"
Kairi's smile faded and she sighed, but then said, "Yes, alright, you're forgiven."
Sora grinned at her. "So, you still up for that date?"
Kairi pursed her lips and considered him for a moment, before replying, "No," and walking off down the beach. Sora watched her go, completely dumbfounded, before locating his feet and rushing after her.
"Wait, what do you mean, 'no'?"
"I mean no," she replied without looking at him.
"But, but," Sora spluttered, "I apologized. You forgave me, you asked me out!"
"Yup, and now I've changed my mind," she said dismissively, voice altogether too light and airy.
She huffed. "All you had to do was say yes, Sora, it's not supposed to be that complicated. I don't want this to be complicated."
Sora rolled his eyes and muttered, "Yeah, because it's not like everything else in our lives is."
Just then she spun around to yell at him, "Exactly!" Sora blinked at her. She sighed and threw her hands in the air, now looking more exasperated than angry. "Everything has gotten so complicated. Ever since the heartless, and the keyblade, and the Organization, and everything, it's just all gotten so complicated. I don't want this to be complicated. I don't want us to be complicated."
"Who's to say that we're gonna be complicated? Well, anymore than relationships already are complicated." But Kairi didn't look any less dismayed, which only made Sora more determined, because he never wanted to see Kairi upset. "Then let me make it simple. I'm an idiot. I'm an idiot who overcomplicates things and messes up getting asked out. But I'm your idiot if you'll have me."
Kairi shook her head and pushed past him, walking in the opposite direction. "I just don't know right now. I'm just sick of this whole crazy fiasco."
Sora watched her go, at a loss as to what to do. She was a fair distance away from him when she stopped, and her head lowered while her shoulders sagged in a sigh.
"Friday at seven."
Sora's eyebrows lifted. "What?"
Kairi turned just enough to look over her shoulder at him. "That's when you're taking me to dinner."
Sora felt like someone had tied his tongue in a knot. Was this really happening? "I am?"
"Yep, you're taking me somewhere nice, and you're paying." Sora couldn't help the grin spreading across his face.
Kairi turned slightly more toward him. Her expression was somewhat stern, but not angry. "And I expect flowers."
"And chocolate would be nice too."
"And tell Riku to get a haircut."
Sora frowned. "What does that have to do with our date?"
Kairi shrugged. "Nothing, he just needs one."
Sora laughed as she turned to go but he called after her, "Why'd you change your mind?"
She stopped and turned to him. "Because you're an idiot." She grinned. "But I'd rather you were my idiot than anybody else's."
A/N: ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! Okay, so I mentioned I was thinking about doing a vlog to say thanks to all of you for all your support over the years. Basically, I would read some excerpts from y'alls favorites of my fics, and answer some questions and generally just say thanks in person(ish), but I don't know if anyone would actually be interested. If so, let me know. Tell me in a review or PM what you'd like to hear me read, or any questions you'd like me to answer, whatever. Or if you think it's a dumb idea let me know that too so I can gauge the level of interest. :D