Disclaimers: I don't own anything but the game merchandise and this story. OTL The challenge, however, belongs to HawkRider.
A/N: Update again, yay! :D I might want to update this a little more since I wanna get to 'Act II' of this story. xD Hmm, Terra's once again MIA, but hey, at least we get to hang out with Kairi's other friends this chapter. -heart- LOL And yes, I do make it a point to hint at Kairi's family. I'm becoming a little obsessed with it. xD Also, I just found out kid!Kairi's English VA from BbS was related to Larxene's English VA. O_o Like oh my god, really!? NEAT! LOL Maybe instead of Aqua, Larxene should be Kairi's older sister? Perhaps for another story. XD
In any case, I hope you enjoy this chapter. I had fun with it. :) Thanks for reading and reviewing! Happy New Year too!
.: o15 | Alert | o15 :.
~ Innocent Swan ~
I looked over the list of names once again before letting out a sigh. My red hair flew in the air as I shook my head and handed back Sora's paper. "No, these guys won't do."
"Really?" The brunet scratched the side of his head as he reviewed the list himself; a pencil held within his right hand as we both leaned against the open window in the school hallway. "I've pretty much listed all the guys I've talked to…plus any guys Riku personal knows."
"Okay, well I need a more expansive list; preferably guys I'm not aware of," I explained with a bit more instruction. A small sighed escaped me. "By the way, Sora, Vanitas is already a big no."
Sora flabbergasted. "Why? I think he's awesome!"
…No offense, Sora, but of course you would think Vanitas is awesome—he's your older brother. Rolling my eyes, I nodded before breaking in my opinion. "I'm well aware, but Vanitas happens to be on Aqua's 'hit list'."
Sora was so cute when he gave that slightly pouty face. "Since when?"
"Since your birthday party last year."
"What? I don't remember—"
"Vanitas 'accidentally' threw punch at her. Aqua was wearing a white blouse. He commented on how the 'melons' were amazing… Please don't make me say more."
"Ahaha… Gotcha." Sora nervously grinned while throwing his gaze up at the ceiling. I was sure he said something along the lines of "That's so Vanitas" before clearing his throat and strictly refocusing on the list of names. His reaction made me giggle quietly to myself before I placed my focus on the task as well.
There had to be someone who could help me, but I was beginning to lose hope. If I couldn't find a guy, then Terra was one step closer to getting Aqua to like him…even if it wasn't happening yet. My social network was pretty big, but all the guys I tried to hook Aqua up with in the past didn't have the right requirements, were failed attempts, or were already taken. If Sora could at least spare a few new names, I could try and move on with my plan. I had no other choice but to let him in on my little secret because I was so desperate… However, I wasn't that desperate since Riku was still in the dark. As much as I love Riku, the moment I tell him my affections for Terra were unrequited (for now, thank you very much), he would start nagging at me about my 'recuperation' method for being…'dumped'. I made Sora swear not to tell Riku, but there inlay another problem: Riku's social network. I know he has a large social network and now I have no way of accessing it!
Grumbling to myself, I almost missed Sora speak. "Hey, Kairi…I know you like Terra, but don't you think you're overdoing it?"
"Oh, Sora!" I groaned and stuck out my bottom lip. "Don't tell me you're turning into another Riku. He and Naminé are already on my case, but you? You're the only person I have left that isn't judging me."
He shook his head and held up a hand to stop my line of thinking. Honestly, there was something about Sora's reaction that just seemed…off to me; like he was nervous for a different reason. "I'm not judging you, Kairi! I just think… Well, I just don't want to see you get hurt if things don't work out with you and…Terra."
Okay? That was kind of a backhanded comment, but thanks? I wasn't really mad at Sora (between him and Riku, Sora spoiled me), but that was the bluntest he's ever been with me. I didn't know if I wanted to act hurt or praise him… Oh well. Smiling, I nudged Sora with my elbow and stuck out my tongue as we brushed shoulders together. "Don't worry, Sora! It sounds like those cheesy romance novels, but the suffering will be worth it once Terra starts paying attention to me."
"I know." Another sigh escaped Sora and suddenly I was on alert. My brunet friend was acting so weird lately and it really worried me; he was never this hesitant before. Watching as he leaned away with his hands gripping the window sill tightly, Sora paused while glancing to the side in order to get his thoughts across. "I mean, I'm happy if you're happy, but have you thought of a…'Plan B'?"
Now I was lost. "Plan B?"
"Like…I dunno…" At this point, Sora was so red in the face that I thought he was getting sick. He continued to make subtle yet clumsy hand gestures, but the only thing I wanted him to do was look me in the eye. Seriously, Sora, I would understand you so much better if you were looking at me!
As I patiently waited for the brunet, I spotted a small blond blob walking into the school yard. Oh, Roxas decided to come to school this afternoon after missing morning classes. Naminé told me he got sick the other day playing in the nearly river with his other friends. What a guy! Hmm, I wonder if Roxas knows any guys—Wait!
"Maybe Plan B could be someone else…like—"
"Roxas!" I quickly interjected; already running down the hallway towards the stairwell going to the first floor. With Roxas, if I lost track of him, I wouldn't see him at all today. I know it was rude of me to ditch Sora, but my plan depended on it! "We'll talk later, Sora! Sorry! Love you! Bye!"
I didn't even get a chance to hear the brunet's reponse, but I was pretty sure I left him dumbfounded… Argh! I promise I'll buy him a milkshake if we ever go to the Rhythm Mixer together! I hate leaving Sora like that, but first…
"Roxas!" Once he took a step inside the school building and looked at me – a surgical mask covering his mouth to contain his cold – I immediately asked. "How are you?"
He coughed; voice somewhat hoarse. "Still a little sick, but I had to give Naminé—"
"Okay, great!" Clapping my hands on his shoulders – effectively confusing the heck out of the blond – I immediately asked my next question with an innocent pitch. "Listen, I kinda found out you had an older brother. Is he single?"
Roxas's eyes widened. "How do you know Ven?"
"Just answer the question, Roxas. Please."
I didn't mean to be aggressive, but I was running out of trump cards. I just realized Ven was someone I haven't tried matching my sister with since he was relatively new to me. Ven was my last hope if I was ever going to set Aqua up for a date-but-not-really! Roxas darted his eyes to the side as I stared intently (and probably too close for his liking) and whispered apprehensively. "Er, yeah, but he already likes someone."
Oh for the love of all that is good! Why was my luck so bad? Keeping my discontentment at bay, I figured I might as well continue for the sake of waning off suspicion. "Oh. What's she like?"
"I wouldn't know. She doesn't go to the university Ven's attending. Uh, I think she was attending C.O. College."
…Hold the phone. Aqua attended C.O. College! Could it be? Taking a gamble, I probed for more information. "Seriously? Did Ven mention her name? Anything about her that would stand out?"
"Kairi, I just said—"
"Okay already!" The blond quickly pulled away from me, coughed against his mask (and palm), and screwed his eyes shut as he tried to think. Sometimes, it made me wonder why Naminé liked Roxas so much. I'll admit that Roxas was cute, but he always seemed to have a memory lapse now and then. Either, he did too many activities all at once or he was simply on the oblivious side. When Roxas made a sudden sound, all of my attention focused on him. "I kind of remember Ven saying she was well-known around the college. He also said trying to talk to her was hard because she was always with someone."
I was starting to get goose bumps. Aqua was pretty well-known around the college because she was attractive, a straight-laced student, and she was a dancer. Plus, she was always hanging out with someone at the college (to my knowledge) like a classmate, professor, or Larxene… Yeah, if it was Larxene, then no wonder poor Ven couldn't get near Aqua; Larxene would've chewed him out! "Anything else?"
Roxas paused once again, fidgeting with the notebook (which I assumed belonged to Naminé) tucked underneath his arm. Finally, he spoke up. "Actually, now that I think about it, Vanitas was flashing a picture of her the other day when he came over to hang out. She had a really unique shade of hair that matched her eyes—"
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" I just couldn't contain my excitement! Roxas was describing Aqua exactly, so this plan wasn't as hopeless as I thought! Without really processing it, I quickly latched myself to Roxas in a really tight hug. He was frozen in alarm, but I didn't care; I was going to show my gratitude whether he liked it or not! "Oh Roxas! I could just kiss you!"
Pfft, but I wouldn't. I would leave that to a certain blonde cousin of mine. Who was staring at me in shock; standing off to the side with Sora and Riku.
"Oh! Hey, guys." I smiled while casually moving Roxas – who, by the way, was still petrified – at arms' length.
"Kairi…" Naminé glowered with a small frown and, even though it wasn't as threatening as Aqua's glare, Naminé still got that glare from Auntie; and Auntie was Mom's little sister… I'm telling you: the women in my family were scary when angered. Riku simply smirked in amusement with his hands in his pockets, but honestly, it was Sora who grabbed my attention after Naminé. I don't know why, but the brunet looked slightly…horrified. What did I do? Was I not supposed to jump Roxas? I thought Sora was already used to my antics when I got excited like this! Oh well. I'm sure he'll get over it; I still owe him a milkshake after all. As for Naminé…
Jumping quickly to my cousin's side and hugging her, I tried to calm that tiny beast of jealousy. "Naminé, Naminé: you of all people should know it's not like that. Anyways!" Turning back to the spiky-haired blond, I continued. "Roxas, I'm gonna need Ven's number."
"What could you possibly do with his brother's phone number?" Riku asked, lifting a suspicious eyebrow.
"I talk to Ven and I think he's cool. Is that so bad?" I retorted with a cross of my arms, earning an eye roll from the silver-haired teen. Sticking out my tongue in childish victory, I smiled to myself; quickly thinking of all the ways I could get Ven and Aqua together; you know, as friends. But hey, if they wanted to be more than that, be my guest. It would still be a win-win situation for me if I could get Terra to forget about Aqua as a potential love interest. Then I could sneak in and grab Terra's attention—
A hand suddenly clamped on my shoulder and looking over it, Naminé stood close; miffed and whispering. "We need to talk about your signs of appreciation, cousin."
…At least, I hope I can grab Terra's attention if I'm Naminé doesn't eat me alive. Huh; the things I go through to make my impossible love possible!