Soft Revolution
by anobscureflaw
Summary: Riku's a top model, and Sora's just a substitute hairstylist temporarily filling in. It was only a small plane delay, but caused much more than expected. Funny how fate works. (Riku/Sora)

Even though it was late at night, I decided to walk the few blocks to my apartment. It was brisk outside, but not unbearably cold, and I had a jacket. Plus, I needed time to think- to think about whether or not I was really going to go to Milan, and think about how I would break the news if I did decide to go.

Anyone's natural reaction to being handed Milan on a silver platter would be an automatic 'Yes.' But it just didn't seem all that appealing to me. Maybe if Kairi were coming I would be more inclined to go, so that I could have somebody to share the romantic setting with. But instead it was just that obnoxious model and overbearing manager. Still, the opporitunity was too great to pass up. Being the great girlfriend she is, Kairi would tell me to go even if I decided I didn't want to- just because it really is a once in a lifetime opporitunity.

I didn't realize I had walked so far until I was just a block away from my apartment. I decided to be more aware of my surroundings and not lose myself in thought so much, because to be completely honest it's not the nicest part of town. It's not quite the ghetto, but being fresh out of high school and not even a college student, I couldn't afford the best right now. And Kairi only had a part time job as a waitress, as she attended school during the day. Our parents helped out a bit, even if they weren't too keen on us living together, but it was barely enough to pay the rent, bills, and other necessities as well as a few luxuries here and there.

I kept a more alert eye as I reached the doorman of my apartment. He was certainly intimidating from sight, though anyone who had met him knew him to be quite a nice guy.

"Sora? What are you doing out so late?" He asked me, sidestepping slightly to let me through.

The warm air hit me like a brick; I hadn't realized that my fingers were numb until I was inside. "Work." I said simply, trying not to sound too exhausted as I turned back around to face him.

He picked up on my weariness and made a sympathetic face. "You're too young to be working so hard. Live a little."

I smiled inwardly; clubbing was certainly living a little. Only I considered it work, not fun. "I've got bills to pay, Lexaeus."

He grinned at me. "Don't we all." Then he gestured for me to head towards the elevator. "Get some sleep, Sora. Have a nice night."

I waved goodbye with a last "You too" and trudged towards the elevator at the end of the hall. The stairs were usually quicker, as I was only on the third floor, but some nights it just wasn't worth the energy. Tonight was one of those nights.

Sighing, I pushed the button with the number three on it and watched it light up. Idly I wondered how elevators really worked, but brushed it off to focus on something more important: how to tell Kairi I wouldn't be able to make our anniversary. There really wasn't a way to do it gently, I'd have to straight up tell her. Damn it, I should have come home with flowers! Oh well, it was too late.

I walked out of the elevator as the doors opened with a sharp Bing! and walked all the way down the hall towards our apartment. I pulled out my key, held it up to my chest and leaned with my back on the door. The fire exit sign loomed right above me, mocking me almost. As if it were saying, "Here's your chance! Just go through this door and you won't have to break your poor girlfriend's heart!" With another sigh (I seemed to be doing that a lot lately) and a quick shake of my head, I stuck the key in the door.

"Sora?" asked a voice hesitantly as the door cracked open. I instantly recognized it as Kairi's (but really, who else's would it be?).

"Yeah. Hey." I entered the wooden door and shut it with a loud creak. I should probably get that fixed. But then I suppose it was also a good warning for anyone who was inside; they'd be able to tell if anybody was entering. I gave her a quick peck on the cheek as she came out from behind the counter of the kitchen and walked down the (very short) hallway to greet me.

"Are you hungry?" She asked as I walked past her and set my bag on the white laminate counter. My coat remained on as I was still cold from the walk home. "I made some soup earlier, I didn't know you'd be out so late... I can heat up the leftovers if you want."

That was Kairi, always thoughtful. "I ate at the club, thanks though." I said even though it was a lie. The only thing to 'eat' at the club was alcohol or cocaine.

"The club? Is that why you were out so late?" I watched her as she stood on her tiptoes to get a bowl and class out of the cabinet. "A drink, then?"

I nodded exhaustedly and rested my elbows on the counter, my face in my hands. "They said I had to go to the after party, for some reason or another. It was a waste of time and I don't even think I got paid for the extra hours."

Kairi grimaced sympathetically as she pulled a container out of the small freezer. She set it aside and pulled out an unopened wine bottle from the very back of the fridge. I watched her struggle with the top before finally opening it. She pulled out two cups (not wine glasses, to be honest we still couldn't afford a nice set of glassware) and poured the wine equally in each cup. Then she paused and glanced up at me watching her, then added a bit more to the cup that I assumed was mine.

"Tidus said to save it for our anniversary, but you look like you could really use a drink." She shimmied playfully across the kitchen to where I was behind the counter. She had almost made it completely before she stumbled and nearly dropped the glasses, her red-brown hair swishing in her face. "Shit! I always forget to watch for that tile!" She nodded towards the floor, where the tilework was badly done- it was obviously old, and some of the tiles were uneven. One in particular protruded a bit more than the others, and it always seemed to catch you when you were groggy in the morning making coffee.

Ignoring her stumble, I reached out and took my glass. "Kairi, about that-" I said, addressing her first sentence.

"I bet you're wondering how I got this, huh?" She gestured towards the glass in her hand. "Tidus brought it over. Actually, he's been begging me to let him buy us alcohol forever, but I never really saw a need for it. It just seemed like we'd have to pay him back eventually. Anyways, I couldn't refuse when he said it was an anniversary gift."

I grinned, despite the situation I was in. That was so like Tidus. Not that he was legal to buy alcohol, though. He was only nineteen but had recently acquired a fake I.D. and used it to buy alcohol whenever he could, even if he didn't really feel like drinking.

"Go sit down, I'll clean this up." She set her glass down on the counter and pulled open a drawer to reveal paper towels. As she was wiping the floor, I walked over to the couch and plopped down, letting the small leather loveseat engulf me.

While waiting for her to finish, I admired our small apartment. It wasn't grandiose, or nice even, but it was home. A one bedroom, 1 bathroom, complete with livingroom and full-functional kitchen. The kitchen was small but enough, with all the necessary appliances and a bit of counterspace. There was also a bar that Kairi and I were supposed to eat at, since there was really no room for even a small table. But we never really ate at the bar, instead just sitting on the worn leather couch and watching TV or talking while we ate.

The living room was easily the biggest room, connected wide-open to the kitchen. There was the loveseat, a matching leather recliner, and a decent-sized TV. Luckily it also had room for a desk, which the computer rested on. In the corner of the living room was a small hallway, then the bedroom and bathroom. Both small, but enough to fit what was needed.

The rooms themselves weren't very decorated, as 1.) We didn't really have the money, and 2.) We had just moved in a while ago. Still, it was home. And I actually liked it.

"So," said Kairi, who was standing above me and looking at me on the couch, breaking me out of my observations. "I was thinking about painting the kitchen a deep red. Not maroon, but a brick red. Since we can't really afford wall art I think bright color will make the place a bit more personal, don't you think?"

"As long as it's not bright red, sure. Maybe a bit on the burgundy side?" I realized I was procrastinating from telling her what I really should have. I could easily have said, "Kairi, listen..." but instead I kept the conversation going.

"Okay, I think I'll go paint shopping tomorrow." She took a sip of her wine and sat down next to me on the couch, facing me completely while arranging her legs into an indian-style position. "So how'd work go? Did they just have you on assistance, or what?"

"Actually... I cut today." I began, waiting for her impending excitement.

Sure enough, it came in the form of a squeal. "Really? On what model? Sora, that's great! And I'm sure the pay's a lot better, too!"

I ignored her question about which model I cut, though I'm not sure why. "Yeah, it's definitely better than assisting."

"That's so great! I'm sure in no time they'll realize how great you are, and you'll be a full-time stylist."

I acknowledged that this was probably my best oppuritunity to break the news.

"Well, that's the thing, Kairi. They... they already have."

She squealed again excitedly. "Wow, this is just amazing! So are you doing another show?"

I didn't answer right away and I could see the excitement slowly vanish from her face, instead being slowly replaced with suspicion. "Something's wrong... you're not excited. What haven't you told me yet?"

"Uh. They asked me to go to Milan to help with shows and shoots there..."

"What's bad about that?" I could see her eyes shine with confusion.

Another wave of silence took over as I didn't answer right away. "We leave tomorrow... at noon." Instead of telling her flat-out that this news meant I wouldn't be here for our anniversary, I let her put two and two together on her own. She had to think about it for a second. Sure enough, a wave of disappointment showed on her face.

"...Oh." She sipped some more wine and rested her head on her free hand, elbow on her knee. "Still, Sora, that's great news. It's not even that big of a deal, how's a year different from eleven months? Or thirteen?"

Always the optimist, Kairi was. But I could tell she was struggling to sound happy. "Listen Kairi, if you want me to stay then I will. Trust me when I say that I'd rather stay here."

"Don't be stupid." She flipped her hair off her shoulder. "You know very well that if you denied this offer then you'd never get another job in this town. You know more than me how those people work."

I nodded weakly. "Yeah..."

"And plus, you're getting paid to go to Milan! How many people can say that? I'd kill to go there!"

"Come with me." I said, an idea popping into my head. "We can celebrate there."

She sighed lightly. "There's no way we can afford it, you know that."

"I... I guess you're right." I swirled my glass around, watching the wine in it spin in circles. "I really wish there was something I could do..."

"But there is!" She leapt up from the couch to place her empty cup in the sink.

I looked at her in confusion. "You can buy me a present while you're there!"

I finally broke a smile, as did she. The tension was somewhat gone, though a little still remained.

"Really Sora, have fun and enjoy yourself. I'll miss you, sure, but this means more money for us in the long run. And time apart will do us good! We've not gone more than a couple of days without seeing each other since we were toddlers, I think." Kairi said from the kitchen. "Any idea how long you'll be gone?"

"A couple of weeks at most."

"And when do you leave again?"

"Tomorrow at noon."

"I'd accompany you to the airport, but I have class at eight then a study session with a few friends after that..." She said, looking sympathetic.

"No problem. I'll just pack and everything in the morning before I leave."

"Alright, well that settles that." She stood above the couch, clearly not wanting to sit down. "I'm really tired though! I'm heading to bed. I'll wake you in the morning to leave before I say goodbye."

I raised an eyebrow as she obviously wasn't the least bit tired. I decided to ler her go though since she probably just wanted to be alone. I felt terrible.

Right as she was about to walk through the hallway to the bedroom, I said, "Are you sure about this? Because really, I can stay."

She shook her head. "It's fine, Sora." She gave a close-lipped smile. "Goodnight."

"Night."

I resigned to just put the issue out of my mind and turned on the TV. I didn't really pay attention to what they were saying; instead I simply watched without any comprehension whatsoever. I was tired, but I also wasn't about to walk in on Kairi crying silently in bed.

Instead I decided to sleep on the couch. I left the TV on so it would appear accidental, and grabbed an old quilt that was hanging over the back of the recliner. My last thought before drifting off was not of Kairi, I recalled with a guilty pang, but instead about a certain silver-haired model and how I was going to fare being with him for the upcoming days.

2 months later. cringes I'm so sorry! Honestly, I just didn't feel like writing. I got around to it eventually, though, didn't I? However it's unbetaed, as my beta is out of town. I looked for mistakes, but I hope I didn't miss too many!

And sorry it's a boring chapter, too... I was going to add Riku in there, but it seemed to fit much better with next chapter and I wasn't going to add it just for the sake of making the chapter longer. But next chapter should be better, there'll be more interaction (though I'm not making any promises!). This chapter was pretty important though. You see what Sora's relationship with Kairi is like.

Again, many apologies to my readers! I'll try not to take so long in the future. If you're waiting for updates, maybe you'd like to check out my Axel/Roxas story, A Minor Incident. It's quite different from this one, but I think you all will enjoy it. Now that that shameless plug is over, I hope everyone has a good summer!

Please review! It helps me get off of my unmotivated butt and write :)

Until next time...
anobscureflaw

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