*insert goofy disclaimer here*

A/N: Thanks for all the support thus far! It makes me really happy to know that some people like my dorky little fanfics. =) I already got more reviews than I thought I would...lol. Thanks a bunch, all of you! You digits are zetta awesome!

This chapter is completely in Kairi's POV for some random reason.


Chapter 7

Kairi stood on the doorstep of Riku's home, gazing around at her surroundings and thinking, what am I doing here? Riku had spontaneously asked her if she'd baby-sit his cousin. He mentioned that she'd get paid a decent sum, and Kairi's mind floated right to a plaid skirt she'd seen at the mall a few days ago with a steep price tag. At the time, she hadn't had enough munny to purchase it, but with a little bit more... Unwittingly, she agreed to the offer.

She came to regret that decision pretty quickly.

"Hey, Kairi," Riku said, answering the door with a facetious grin. "Thanks for agreeing to baby-sit Olette. I'm not very good around little kids, and I made prior plans with someone else today, so..."

Riku's house was large and surprisingly tidy, with pictures of the silver-haired kid and his family decorating the walls. The hallway smelled fragrant like lit incense. Obviously, it was probably Riku's parents who kept the place this clean. Kairi could envision Riku's bedroom in her mind-a smelly disasterpiece, no doubt. Probably the dirtiest room in the whole house. Teenage guys tended to remove "orderly" and "hygienic" from their vocabularies.

"Um, no problem," Kairi replied awkwardly after absorbing her surroundings. Riku had informed her previously that Olette was a very sweet, intelligent little four-year-old, so Kairi couldn't imagine this job being too difficult. Besides, she liked kids. And she'd really like that skirt once she bought it with the babysitting munny.

As soon as she set foot in the nice-sized home and slipped off her shoes, though, the ease of the job dissolved. In another room nearby, she heard a very familiar voice-one that made her blood boil.

"Oh, hold on, Olette. I'm not done cutting the crust yet-" It was Sora.

But why was...? Questions buzzed through Kairi's head. What the heck was that idiot doing here? Riku hadn't mentioned that he was going to do something with Sora today...

Apparently noticing Kairi's disheveled expression, Riku explained to her, "Oh, did I forget to mention that Sora was going to baby-sit her as well?"

Kairi gritted her teeth. Oh, yeah, you definitely failed to mention that little detail. Riku still had that stupid grin plastered on his face, which made Kairi suspicious. Surely, Riku knew the two of them hated each other. So why would he arrange for them to work together at something? Kairi'd only run into Sora a few times, but every time she did, it guaranteed trouble. Come to think of it...every time she'd come across Sora, Riku was involved somehow. She began to put two and two together.

Riku'd been the one to invite her to Xigbar's. And he clearly had known that Sora would be there working. He'd also been the one to tell Sora to look for her in the hallway the day of the study group. (Namine told her about that later.) Which meant...he was the one who got them stuck in detention together. And now he was forcing them to baby-sit his cousin side by side? What the hey was he scheming?

"Riku, why do you keep getting me and Sora together?" she questioned bluntly. She let a hint of anger come through her tone.

Riku looked away and laughed. "What are you talking about? Sora always baby-sits Olette, but I thought he could use some help this time. Namine told me you liked hanging out with kids, so I just thought it was a good idea."

"We hate each other."

Riku laughed again and patted Kairi on the back. "Aw, you two can get along. Don't worry about it."

Yeah, sure they could get along. Just as well as vegetarians and hamburgers, maybe.

"Riku, there is no way-"

Riku hastily found the exit and rushed outside, inadvertently slamming the door behind him. He had dodged the situation well. Jerk. "Okay, have fun! Ciao!" he called.

Like hell she'd have fun. This situation had "catastrophe" written all over it.

Sora turned the corner holding a little brunette who was munching on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. "Riku, are you leavi-" Now seeing Kairi, he stood there for a moment, his mouth agape. "K-Kairi? What are you-"

Kairi sighed and wandered through the hallway a bit before coming to a livingroom. She walked in, plopped onto the couch, and set her purse down beside her. Sora followed behind her like a lost puppy. The girl in his arms, Olette, pointed and asked, "Who's that?"

Sora scratched his head and responded, "Um, her name is Kairi." He looked really vexed, but he tried to hide his confusion for the four-year-old's sake.

Olette's green eyes brightened. "Is she gonna play 'dolls' with me?"

Kairi, meanwhile, was digging through her purse, searching for her cell phone. Why was it that whatever you needed the most urgently always somehow managed to get to the bottom of the bag no matter where you put it initially? Finally, after tunneling through her wallet, various makeup containers, and loose change, she found it.

"What are you doing?" Sora asked. "And more importantly, what are you doing here?"

Kairi had begun dialing her home number into the phone, but now she stopped. "Wait, you didn't know I was coming?" she asked curiously. She had assumed that somehow Sora was in on the trick, trying to make her life miserable or something. But if Sora really hadn't known that she was going to be here... That meant Riku was the sole conspirator? Then what was he setting up? What could he possibly gain by putting the two of them together and making their lives dismal?

Sora shrugged. "No. If I knew, I wouldn't have agreed to baby-sit."

Kairi scowled. He could have been a little nicer about the way he'd said that. She didn't exactly want to see him, either, but he didn't have to be so rude about it. Could he be any more boorish, honestly?

"I'm calling my mom," Kairi explained crossly. "Since Riku already left, I can't get a ride from him. So I'll just have her come pick me up."

"Oh."

Silence. Kairi started redialing her number when Sora remarked, "So...Riku asked you to baby-sit, too? That's really strange. Maybe he forgot that he asked me and offered the job to you instead?" I doubt it, Kairi thought. His actions seemed pretty intentional from her perspective. What she didn't understand was why he was doing it. How could he possibly benefit from their-

"Oops." Olette suddenly spoke up. Sora had put her down a while ago, and she had been sitting there listening to them...until now.

Kairi groaned. Whenever a toddler says 'oops', it's never a good sign. Plus, a shattering sound had accompanied her exclamation. This didn't bode well.

Ever the responsible babysitter (surprisingly), Sora jumped up and immediately went to analyze the situation. Kairi followed. As she had suspected, the circumstances weren't good. Olette was sitting on the floor in the nearby hallway, and beside her was a collection of broken shards of...something. It had splintered into so many pieces that Kairi couldn't quite identify what was destroyed.

Sora, on the other hand, could. "Oh, shi-" Noticing the four-year-old peering up at him, he stopped mid-cussword. "Um, are you cut anywhere?" he asked, picking her up gently and inspecting her fingers and arms.

Olette was tearing up. "N-no," she sobbed. "Am I in trouble?"

Sora glanced back down at the busted object and sighed. "No, don't worry about it. It's my fault for not watching you carefully. I'll...clean up the mess and then we'll watch Aladdin. How does that sound?"

A smile formed on Olette's tear-stained face, and Kairi couldn't help but feel impressed. Sora really was good with kids. She smirked and thought, probably because he's such a kid himself. Still, she was amazed that he could actually act somewhat...well, dependable. It was a trait she'd never expected from him.

"Come on," Sora continued, wiping Olette's damp cheeks. "Let's go get the dustpan. I have a feeling that Riku's mom probably wouldn't appreciate seeing pieces of her glass elephant figurine all over the floor."

Another thing Kairi knew about kids: nature called at the least convenient of times for them. "Sowa," Olette said, pronouncing Sora's name in a cute, stuffy-nosed four-year-old way. "I have to go pee-pee."

Sora lightly smacked his head against the wall purposely. "Alright...let's go upstairs to the toilet then," he grunted. Then he turned to Kairi and explained, "She's afraid of going to the bathroom by herself. You can go ahead and call your mom and leave. Sorry about Riku." Then he hurried up the stairs with Olette, 'cause when a kid's got to go, they've got to go now.

Oh, yeah. Kairi blinked a few times. She'd completely forgotten about calling home for a ride. She still had the cell phone in her hands. But...it didn't feel right leaving Sora to handle this on his own. Plus, he wasn't being his typical jerkwad self at the moment (probably for Olette's well-being), so she could actually cope with him right now without wanting to punch his teeth out.

"Wait," she called to Sora, who was already halfway up the stairs. "I'll clean up the elephant thing. Where's the broom and dustpan?"

Sora threw her an astonished look, as if he was saying, seriously? You are going to help me?! He replied hesitantly, "Um...in the kitchen beside the trashcan."

So Kairi set to work. As she cleaned up the little glass shards, her mind drifted back to Riku. He was planning something, she was sure of it. She just didn't know what that 'something' was. Her brain raced through imaginary scenarios. Maybe he was just a sadistic person, and he loved torturing them? No, he was a butthead, but he wasn't that bad.

She knew one thing for certain, though-it wasn't a coincidence that he was pairing Sora and herself together constantly. And whatever he was trying to cover up, she would figure out. She wasn't going to allow him to mess around with her. She'd dealt with Sora enough already to last a lifetime, and she barely knew him.

Pulling her from her thoughts was a cry from Sora upstairs. "No, Olette! Don't flush that down the-" Pause. "I'll get the toilet plunger."

Kairi started to chuckle under her breath. He was so hopeless. No wonder they could never get along... Wait...

She suddenly recalled something her teacher had told her in elementary school. She'd been crying from a scraped knee that a boy had given her when he unexpectedly pushed her over. She had tattled to the teacher, who patted her head and sympathized with her like any good role model would. Then she'd added with a wink, "Y'know, boys only act mean to girls that they really like. They just don't know how to treat girls, so they act rough around them."

Was that why Sora...? No way, it was preposterous to even consider. Boys acted like that in grade school, not when they were teenagers. Sora honestly despised her, and vice versa.

Still, her mind was formulating an idea of its own. What if Sora had known she was coming over today, and had just lied to her about it? What if...he was just acting rude in front of her all this time because he... No. It was crazy. Not a chance.

But it made sense. Riku and Sora could have been planning this the whole time because Sora was too shy to confront her himself...

Ugh! Get a grip, Kai. She shook her head and conked herself on the head with her palm. It was a loony idea, but just in case, Kairi would make it extra clear to Sora that she didn't like him. That way, if he did have any feelings for her-which was practically impossible!-he'd get the message and leave her alone. Hopefully.

She supposed she's stay at Riku's just to make sure she rejected him thoroughly. Then the whole mess would be cleared up, and her life could go back to normal. Hanging out with friends, going to study groups, watching Disney movies... No more detentions and annoying confrontations with Sora. Yes, she would get through to him no matter what it took.


A/N: Uh-oh, looks like Kairi got the wrong idea here. But hey, they didn't argue at all in this chapter-that's a first! ^_^; Review please!

I had so much fun writing about Sora being a babysitter. I baby-sit often, too (a two-year-old named Rachel), so I took some of the ideas for this story from my own personal experiences. When Olette broke the glass elephant? Yeah, I got 'inspiration' for that from one time when I took my eyes off Rachel for two seconds, and CRASH! She broke a cup. *sigh* And she loves Disney movies, but even more than those, she loves Shrek. She watched that movie seven times in one day. -_- And every time she comes over, she says, "Let's watch ogre!" *sobs* I hate that movie now with a bloody passion. (Er, sorry for rambling. =P)