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Over Oceans

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Despite having fun with Kairi, Sora was still vigilant in checking out their surroundings, namely the people nearby. So far, for the three hours they had spent in the arcade, no one suspicious had appeared. He also periodically checked his phone when Kairi was distracted to see if Unknown had sent any more threats or photos. It seemed like they were done, for now at least.

The afternoon was quickly turning to evening, and Sora’s time with Kairi was running out. Kairi must have been feeling the same way, because as they finished their virtual car race, her smile seemed to falter. 

Sora reached out and put his hand over hers on the plastic steering wheel. “Hey Kai?”

“What’s up?” She looked up at him, trying to smile like she had been before.

“You okay?” Sora asked, already guessing the answer.

Kairi sighed, her smile falling away. “No. I don’t want to leave yet.”

Sora tucked a loose piece of hair behind her ear. “I don’t want you to leave either.”

Kairi gently pulled his hand from the steering wheel, turning in her seat to face him while she held his hand. They sat in silence for a few moments until something caught Sora’s eye.

“I have an idea!” Before Kairi could ask him what he was talking about, he was pulling her towards a photobooth. He pushed the curtain aside and sat down, pulling Kairi in with him. She giggled as he reached over her and shut the curtain. “This is your idea?”

“Yeah! This is way better than pictures on our phones don’t you think? Although, I still want to get some of those tonight if you’re okay with that.”

Kairi’s smile was mostly back as she nodded and began looking through all of the digital backdrops to choose from. Sora held her gently by the waist as he waited for her to choose something. “These are all so cheesy. I don’t think they’ve updated this booth since the 2000s.” Sora chuckled and agreed. Finally, she settled on a bokeh style backdrop which was arguably the least offensive of the bunch.

“You ready?” She asked as she put her hand over the big red button that would activate the camera.

“Yep! Let’s do this.” Sora replied excitedly.

“Okay, here we go!” Kairi smashed the button, and Sora quickly pulled her into his lap. Kairi laughed as he pulled her close and the first picture was taken. Kairi wrapped her arms around his and planted a kiss on his blushing cheek just in time for the second photo. 

“Oh that’s how you want to play?” Sora grinned devilishly as he gently grabbed her chin. He kissed her passionately as the camera flashed for the third time. Just as they finally pulled away for some air, looking into each others’ eyes, the camera flashed for the final photo.

“That was…” Kairi was trying to catch her breath. She had the same look in her eyes as she did last night on the couch. Lust, maybe? 

Sora’s heart was pounding in his chest at the thought. He tried to distract himself by finishing the sentence for her. “Amazing? Perfect? The best kiss of your life?”

Kairi playfully smacked his arm then laughed softly. “Maybe it’s all of the above.”

Maybe it was the look in her eyes or the darkness the photobooth offered, but Sora wanted more. More kisses, more Kairi. He licked his lips and was about to go in for another kiss when someone yanked the curtain back on the photobooth. 

It was, of course, Axel. “Oi, we’re going to get ice cream. Come on.” 

Kairi blinked and squinted at the sudden stream of light, and Sora pulled her against him as he went to punch Axel. He missed as Axel ducked out of the way. 

“Woah! What was that for?” Axel asked, ever oblivious to everything going on around him.

“You and I are gonna have a long talk tonight about interrupting people, Axel! I swear to god I am going to kill you!” Sora yelled. Axel took off running, leaving Sora and Kairi in the photobooth. “I’m sorry, Kai. He’s an idiot.”

“Umm, it’s okay.” She mumbled. Oh, shit. I scared her. “Are you alright? I didn’t mean to scare you. It’s just… how many times is that now? Ugh…”

“I-it’s not t-that.” She stuttered softly. Sora finally looked at her face, trying to read her expression. She was blushing furiously and wouldn’t meet his eyes. She slowly slid off his lap and went to grab the photostrips outside of the booth. As Sora went to stand up and follow her, he immediately realized why Kairi was acting like that. Ah, fuck… Now red in the face himself, he adjusted his pants and followed Kairi to the front of the arcade where the rest of the group had already gathered.

No one seemed to notice how red both of them were as they discussed getting ice cream. Axel was explaining how sea salt ice cream was the “best EVER” ice cream flavor to Namine who looked like she didn’t quite believe him. Sora was thankful for the distraction, and he was pretty sure Kairi was too.

The group gradually started walking towards an ice cream shop. Sora and Kairi were at the back again. Sora, feeling super embarrassed, put his hands in his pockets and avoided her eyes. But it didn’t look like Kairi was going to let him mope for the rest of the night, because she linked her arm around his and gave him a reassuring squeeze.

“The pictures came out really nice.” Kairi held up the two photostrips to Sora as they walked. Sora plucked one from her hand to get a closer look. The first photo was Sora smiling wide while holding Kairi who was laughing. The second was Kairi kissing a surprised Sora’s cheek. The third was them kissing. Sora quickly skipped that one, not wanting to dwell on what just happened. 

The last photo was definitely his favorite. They were gazing into each others’ eyes. If Sora didn’t know what was going through his mind at that moment, he would say they looked like they were in love – woah, wait, what? Sora mentally shook the thought away and gave Kairi a nod.

“They’re perfect. I get to keep one right?” He teased, tucking it into his pocket carefully.

“Well, you need something to remember me by.” Kairi responded a little wistfully. Sora pulled her closer. He didn’t know how to comfort her, because he didn’t know how to comfort himself, but he’d do his best.

After a few more minutes of walking, the gang made it to the ice cream shop. Sora, Riku, Roxas, and Axel all got the infamous sea salt ice cream. Kairi stuck with a familiar flavor of strawberry, and Namine got chocolate, her favorite.

“Aw, come on. You have to try it at least once.” Axel held out his cone towards Namine who looked at it in disgust.

“No thanks. I’m good.” She said as she ate her own ice cream.

“Want some of mine?” Roxas asked. “You should definitely try it before you have to leave.” 

Namine looked from Roxas to his sea salt ice cream before sighing loudly. “Alright. Fine. I’ll have a taste.” She handed Roxas her ice cream and took his. She sniffed it and gave it a once over before she finally took a lick. “Oh… That’s… different.”

“You hate it?” Axel asked, his smile quickly dropping.

“I wouldn’t say I hate it. It’s a good kind of different.” Namine replied before handing Roxas back his cone and retrieving hers.

“I’ll take it.” Axel gave Namine his approval with a nod and then devoured the rest of his ice cream.

Sora looked at Kairi and silently offered her his ice cream as well. Kairi handed him her cone and hesitantly took his ice cream. She was just as suspicious as Namine was, turning it around in her hand before finally tasting it.

“Mmm, that’s actually pretty good.”

“Right? See I told you it’s the best!” Axel seemed pleased with himself. 

Riku rolled his eyes at him before turning to the two girls. “So what’s the plan for tonight? It’s the last day and all so…”

Kairi and Namine looked at each other. They seemed to be having a telepathic conversation. Finally, Kairi answered for both of them. “Why don’t you all come back to the hotel for a little longer? We’re not in any rush to say our goodbyes yet.” Her eyes flicked up to catch Sora’s briefly before she returned to eating her ice cream.

“Sounds good to me.” Riku agreed. Roxas and Sora gave somber nods. The mention of Kairi and Namine leaving brought the mood down a bit.

Axel checked his phone and let out a big, dramatic sigh. “Aw man… I have work in the AM, so I’ll have to head home after we finish up here.”

“That sucks.” Sora said sarcastically with a smirk. “Guess I’ll have to beat your ass later.”

“Don’t be so mean, man. I wanna stay here with you guys.” Axel whined as he laid his head on the table.

Sora gave him an unsympathetic look and stood up. “Well, I don’t know about y’all about I could use a break from him. Ready to go?”

“Wha? Trying to get rid of me already?”

“Nope. Never.” Sora deadpanned. The rest of the group laughed while Axel let out an exasperated sigh.

“Fine! Well, I’ll say my goodbyes for now.” Axel gave Namine and Kairi a hug and ruffled each of their hair. “It was nice to meet you both. Sorry for my behavior before. In my defense, you are both extremely hot–”

Sora grabbed Axel by the back of his shirt and pulled him away from the girls. “Bye, Axel!” He said as he shoved him back on the sidewalk. Axel stumbled but caught himself easily. He gave everyone a smile and a wave as he took Sora’s “hint” to go home already. Namine and Kairi giggled at the boys’ antics.

With Axel gone, they finally started making their way back to the hotel. They stopped at the same ramen restaurant they had all unknowingly ate at the first night Namine and Kairi were on the island for takeout. Sora and Riku tried to keep the mood light by chatting about Heartless on the walk back. Sora knew it was obvious they were trying to keep everyone’s mind off of the girls’ departure tomorrow, but he had to do something

The sun had already disappeared below the horizon. He knew he’d have to leave Kairi soon so she could get some rest before her early flight tomorrow. Not enough time…

Back in the girls’ hotel suite, everyone gathered in the living room to slurp down their ramen while an episode of the comedic cooking show Sora and Kairi had watched the previous night played in the background. Sora watched as Roxas and Namine sat close together, heads bent over and giggling at something he had whispered in her ear. It was very cute, Sora thought to himself.

“I know, right?” Riku gave him a playful smile as if he read his mind. Sora and Kairi both nodded in unison then looked at each other with mouths full of noodles. Riku let out a boisterous laugh at the look on their faces. “You two are basically the same person.”

Sora gulped down the noodles stuffed in his cheeks. “I mean, it’s really obvious what you were talking about.” He gestured towards the two blonds with his chopsticks. “Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.”

“Still funny though.” Riku stuck the tip of his tongue out at him. Sora acted as if he was going to pinch Riku’s tongue between his chopsticks. Kairi let out a giggle as she watched them.

“See? Kai gets it.” Riku defended himself, gently nudging Sora in the ribs. This earned him an eye roll, but Riku didn’t care. He knew he was right.

Sora sat back on the couch, his belly full and his ramen bowl empty. “That was so good.”

“It always is. Best ramen on the island.” Riku agreed, picking up the empty bowls that now decorated the coffee table. 

As Riku went to toss everyone’s trash, Sora scooted closer to Kairi on the couch, draping an arm across the top, just above her shoulders. Kairi leaned into him and he could smell her shampoo and a hint of perfume. Sora silently memorized this moment. It would be one of the memories he’d hold onto of her. Just sitting together comfortably. As if it was the most normal thing in the world.

His train of thought was interrupted by Kairi suddenly leaning all the way into him. Roxas had joined her on his opposite side with Namine under his arm. Only then did he finally notice Riku blocking the TV, pointing his phone at them on the couch.

“Sora! Smile!” Riku chuckled as he snapped a few photos on his phone.

Sora’s eyes widened in surprise. “AHH! I wasn’t ready!”

“It’s all good. I got some that you’ll like.” Riku said with a smirk.

As Riku came over to the couch to show them the pictures, Kairi grabbed his phone from his hands and sat in Sora’s lap. Before Riku could make a playful retort, she pulled him down on the couch in her old spot. Kairi held up his phone for a selfie and everyone squeezed into the shot. “Say cheese!”

Everyone replied with their own version of “Cheeeese!” as she snapped a couple of pictures of all of them together.

“Axel is going to be so mad that he got left out of the group selfie.” Riku said as he started to take his phone from Kairi. She sneakily pulled it back and typed a few things in before handing it back.

“Just sent it to myself and Namine.” She said in response to Riku’s confused look.

“Oh, so I have your number now?” A mischievous smirk appeared on his face.

Sora closed his eyes and sighed. “Oh no…”

“Oh yes!” Riku countered, tapping away at his phone earnestly. He was probably adding Kairi and Namine to his contacts.

Kairi bit her lip and looked at Sora. “Did I do a bad thing?”

Riku answered before Sora could respond. “Depends on what you consider ‘bad.’ I won’t bother you… too much.”

“You better leave her alone, Riku.” Sora wagged his finger at him, but Riku knew it was an empty threat.

“Don’t worry, Kai and I’ll just talk about you behind your back.” He wiggled his eyebrows at Sora as he grew more flustered.

Sora groaned. “For the love of–”

“I’m kidding! Chill. We’ll just talk about HoW and stuff.”

Namine’s phone buzzed loudly, and she took it out. Her hand flew to her mouth as she giggled. Riku smirked again, and Roxas looked between the two of them suspiciously.

“We’re not talking about you, Rox.” Riku patted his head as he took a seat on the floor, tapping away on his phone. Namine’s phone buzzed a couple of more times and she began furiously typing back at Riku with a grin on her face. Roxas tried and failed to get a glimpse of Namine’s phone before quickly throwing his hands up in the air.

Namine patted his knee. “I’ll tell you later. Promise.” Roxas folded his arms across his chest and sank a little deeper into the chair beside her.

“Don’t go giving away our secrets now.” Riku gave her a wink. Roxas glared at him and mouthed “I’ll kill you.”

“I don’t think I like this.” Sora muttered under his breath.

“Me either. Those two are up to no good already.” Kairi agreed.

Sora decided to glance at the time on his phone even though he was dreading it. It was almost 8pm. Not super late but Kairi and Namine would need to go to bed soon so they would be up early. Sora exhaled through his nose and put his phone back in his pocket. Kairi put her hand over his in solidarity. He could tell she wasn’t ready for him to go either.

She leaned into him, her head on his chest. He didn’t expect the words that came out her mouth next. “Do you want to spend the night?”

Sora’s heart almost stopped. “Hmm?” He asked, wanting to make sure he heard her right.

“Spend the night? Here. With me.” She looked up at him through her lashes. How could he say no when she looked at him like that?

“Only if that’s what you really want.”

“It’s what I want.”

Sora glanced over at Riku who had been eavesdropping. He gave Sora a subtle nod.

“We can stay.” He wrapped his arms around her, holding her close.

“We’re staying the night?” asked Roxas. Namine was already sitting up and looking over at Kairi.

“If… if everyone’s okay with it,”Kairi replied. Namine nodded excitedly before Kairi could finish getting the words out of her mouth.

“Alright, I’ma head out then.” Riku said as he stood up.

Kairi grabbed his hand as he started to walk past her. “Where do you think you’re going?”

Riku looked down at her hand then back up at her. “Um. Home?”

“Nope, you’re staying here.”

“I don’t think I want to be the fifth wheel tonight.” Riku rubbed the back of his neck, looking a little embarrassed for the first time all weekend.

“There’s no fifth wheel here. It’s a sleepover!”

Riku looked at her in surprise. “Uh, you sure?”

“Yep! Positive! Anyone up for some games?” Kairi let his hand go and bounced up from the couch to strode over to the games. Riku shook his head with a smile then followed her. Sora’s heart felt so full watching the girl he liked (loved?) include his best friend in a way that only she could.

Kairi could have easily let this be a night they spent alone together, and while Sora would have been okay with that, a sleepover with everyone included felt… right. Their Heart of Worlds Kingdom Hearts clan gathering all together felt bittersweet. Regardless, the last night with the five of them here like this would be a great end to the trip. 

The end… Sora didn’t want this to end at all. Would things go back to the way they were before Kairi came to Destiny Islands? Or would things be different? So different that he wouldn’t know how to act around her and ruin… Ruin what? Ruin whatever this was between them. This comfortable normality. This crush that is turning into more with every passing second in her presence.

Kairi plopped a controller in his lap, and the five of them gathered around the big screen TV to play a game that she and Riku had picked out. Sora didn’t have much time to finish his thoughts, but he already knew he was not letting Kairi go. His stomach lurched at the memory of the texts from Unknown which felt like they were burning a hole in his jean pocket. Save that for tomorrow. Tonight is for us. 

Time passed quickly as they played video games. Laughing, recounting memories, trying to stave off sleep for just a moment longer, the five of them huddled together on the pullout couch. Surprisingly, it was just big enough for all of them to lay on comfortably. One by one, everyone fell asleep until the last two left awake were Sora and Kairi.

It was quickly approaching midnight, and Sora knew she had to be up in a few hours. She was just as stubborn as he was though, trying to stay awake to spend as much time with him as possible before she would have to say goodbye. Just thinking about watching Kairi board a plane to go home filled Sora’s stomach with knots.

“Hey.” She whispered, running her fingers through his hair gently.

“Hm?”

“Come with me to my room for a minute.” Kairi kept her voice low as she crept out of the pullout bed. Sora quietly followed her to her bedroom, feeling too sleepy to wonder what was happening. Once they were in her room, Kairi gently closed the door as quietly as she could. She turned to him, and Sora finally noticed the look in her blue eyes. It wasn’t lust, but maybe… want?

She pulled him into her by his shirt, capturing his lips in hers. He was wide awake now! Sora’s heart pounded as he ran his hands through her hair and down to her waist. She pressed into him, and they stumbled onto her bed. Sora fell back with Kairi on top of him, but it didn’t stop their kiss.

Sora let Kairi lead, her hands running up and down his chest as she kissed him deeply. He let his hands move from her waist to her hips. He broke their kiss briefly to ask her if it was okay. She nodded and kissed him from his lips to his neck. Sora slowly exhaled, trying to control both his breathing and his body from reacting boldly to her actions.

With her attention on his neck, Sora had access to her chest and shoulder which was barely covered by her pajama tank top. Sora gently moved the strap down her shoulder and began planting soft kisses around her collar bone. The soft moan he received in response made him almost lose his mind.

He’d imagined a moment like this before spending a weekend with Kairi, back when his crush was virtual, but those thoughts had become more and more prevalent the longer he spent time with her in person. He wanted her, and it wasn’t a secret anymore. But would he really give in to temptation tonight? Would Kairi want… this… right before leaving in the morning? 

Kairi broke his train of thought as she pulled his shirt over his head. Sora helped her discard it on the floor. She pulled at the hem of her shirt, but Sora tugged it back down before whispering, “Are you sure? We don’t have to do this tonight.”

“What if there isn’t another night for us?” It was hard for Sora to see Kairi’s face in the shadows, but he could tell by the quiver in her voice that she believed this would be their only night together. She would leave in a few hours, and that would be it. It’d be better to make the most of the time they had left if there wasn’t a promise of something more. A promise…

Sora sat up and pulled her into his bare chest. He felt the wetness of her tear-stained cheeks against his skin. He held her tightly as he spoke softly into her hair. “There will be other nights, Kai. I am not letting you go. I’ll come to you. As soon as Heartless is released in a few weeks. Okay? Please don’t give up on us before we’ve even had a chance.”

He felt her body shake with quiet sobs. He rubbed her back gently, holding her as close as he could. She wrapped her arms around him, her tears running freely as she buried her face into his neck. “Don’t give up. I promise there will be other nights for us. Tonight, let’s just be together, in this moment. Okay?” He felt her nod against him, her body shivering.

Sora pulled the covers of her bed over the two of them as he laid back, holding her to him as she calmed down. He continued to rub gentle circles on her back until her breathing slowly returned to normal. After several minutes, Kiari took a shuddering inhale and a long exhale.

“M’sorry.” She croaked, her voice still laced with unshed tears.

“Don’t be sorry.” Sora pulled away a little so he could look into her eyes. Her eyes and cheeks were a little red but most of her tears had been wiped away. She was trying very hard to stop crying and squeezed her eyes shut. A tear escaped, and he gently caught it and wiped it away.  “I’m the one who should be sorry. I’m sorry for not making my intentions with you clear. This isn’t a summer fling or a one night stand for me. I want you. I’m ready to do the long distance thing… if you are.”

She sniffled and nodded. “I would really like that. I’ve never done it before, but I want to try.”

“Me either. We can figure it out together though.”

“Sora?”

“Mmm?”

“I really like you.”

Sora smiled and kissed her gently. “I really like you, too. You should get some sleep. You’re going to be exhausted in the morning.”

“Probably… Do you think we should go back to the living room?”

“Why? You worried about what they’ll think?”

“Maybe a little.”

Sora's thoughts went to Namine and her threats from the other night. Her voice echoed briefly in his head “No funny business!” He was not about to awaken the protective beast that was Namine.

“Ya know what? I’m a little worried, too. Let’s go back to the living room.”

The two slowly untangled themselves and quietly got out of the bed. Kairi quickly washed her face in the bathroom while Sora looked for his shirt on the dark floor. Once they were presentable, they snuck back out to the living room and crawled back onto the pullout couch. Sora nestled himself between Riku and Kairi, giving Kairi one last kiss before she finally drifted off the sleep. Sora wasn’t far behind her. A weight had been lifted off his heart tonight now that he knew Kairi would be waiting for him, and he would be waiting for her.

Long distance? Pssshhh. He’s got this.