It was a fabulous day on the Goma Plateau. The sun was shining. Birds were singing. Karis was reading. Well, that alone isn't so fabulous. She was reading the Golden Sun Saga books to her best friend, Matthew. It's not that Matthew couldn't read; he was just in the mood to hear it from Karis, who wanted to read it anyway. At first, Matthew was exited to hear about the epic adventure of Isaac and his friends again. However, like many teen boys, Matthew had a short attention span. Soon, he found that he was bored by Karis' reading. He didn't want to hurt her feelings, so he pretended to listen.
Karis was smarter than Matthew gave her credit for. She quickly realized that Matthew was spacing out.
"Hey, Matthew!" Karis said with a small grin on her face.
Matthew quickly came out of his daydream. "Huh?" he asked with a clueless look.
Karis tried to look sad, but she couldn't stifle a giggle. She leaned over and lightly tickled Matthew's stomach.
"Hey, quit that!" Matthew lilted, "What was that for?"
"You ignored me!" Karis replied, sticking her tongue out at him.
Matthew was about to retort when an idea came to mind.
Matthew quickly grabbed his Mountain Roc feather and began to tickle Karis with it. She instantly broke out into Laughter. "Hahahahehey! Quit thahahat! Matthew!" Matthew didn't stop; he was having fun. He almost wished Tyrell were here to see this.
The tickling continued for at least a minute. "Having fun, Karis?" asked Matthew with a cheerful expression on his face.
"Matthehehehw! Stohohop! Hahahaha!" giggled Karis.
"Why would I stop? You seem to be having fun, Karis," Matthew replied with a calm look on his face (that Karis actually found quite handsome).
Meanwhile, some of their djinni where having a conversation of their own. "I'll bet Karis is going to win this little fight guys," said Clover, a venus djinn.
"I second that!" agreed Geode, another venus djinn.
"Psh! No way! Matthew's gonna win!" retorted Kite, a Jupiter djinn, who was quickly backed up by its friends, Fleet and Swift. "Go Matthew!" shouted Kite.
Matthew was encouraged by the djinn's support. Though he found it quite odd that his venus djinni would root for Karis and not him. He wasn't about to let that ruin his fun, however. He shoved that thought to the back of his mind and continued with the tickling.
Karis had realized that she needed to fight back if she wanted to have a chance against Matthew. With her left hand, she tried to tickle Matthew's upper-body. She saw Matthew almost flinch, but he continued the tickle assault. Still laughing, Karis used both hands to try to tickle Matthew. She managed to get a few laughs out of him, but he was able to stifle most of them.
Matthew was having fun tickling Karis. Isaac and Garet went into town, and he had no idea where Tyrell was. At least he and Karis wouldn't have to suffer the embarrassment of someone walking in on their tickle-fight. He hoped the djinni would keep this a secret, too.
He decided that it was time to get serious. He used his other hand to begin tickling Karis' stomach, making her laugh even harder. "HAHAHAHAHAHA! MAHAHAHATTHEHEHEW! CUHUT IT OUT! HEHEHEHEHE!" Matthew didn't respond. If he did, his laughs would come out. He wasn't going to give Karis any hope of winning this fight.
Matthew knew Karis' belly was very ticklish, so he decided to take full advantage of that. He snaked his right hand up her shirt, feeling the nice and soft skin of Karis' belly, and began tickling it.. Karis was sent into hysterics. "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! MAHAHAHAHATTHEHEHEHEHEHEW! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! STOHOHOHOP! AHAHAHAHAHA! IT TICkLES SOHO MUHUHUHUCH! AHAHAHAHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!" Karis exclaimed. Matthew had no intention of stopping. Not yet, anyway. For years he harbored a huge crush on Karis, and the sound of her laugh was like a chorus of angels to him.
Matthew was still using the feather and his hand when another idea came to mind. He smiled deviously. Before Karis could even ask what he was thinking, he dunked his right index finger into her deep, innie belly button, her most ticklish spot, and swirled it around. Karis was sent to an even higher level of laughter, the kind where you're laughing so hard that you don't even make a sound and tears come forth from your eyes.
Karis' voice gradually returned to her. She had long given up on trying to beat Matthew in the tickle fight. Though barely audible, she laughed, "Matthew! Nohohoho! Nohohot the behelly buhuhutton! Ehehehehe!" Matthew loved this experience. Karis seemed very genuinely happy and alive. He loved seeing her that way. Karis was actually enjoying the experience as well. If it were anyone else tickling her, she might've blown them away with her psynergy, but being tickled by Matthew just seemed…right. She couldn't quite explain it. Maybe it was due to her crush on him. When was she going to tell him about that?
Matthew quickly realized that Karis was in need of air, so he ended the tickling and set the feather on the nearby counter. He expected her to be somewhat mad at him, but to his surprise, she looked up at him and grinned. It didn't take long for Karis to get more air in her lugs, since she basically controlled air itself. Matthew had been trying to confess his feelings for the girl, but every time he came close, he chickened out. He realized that now might actually be a good time.
"Damn, Matthew," Karis said panting.
"I had lots of fun, didn't you?" Matthew asked casually.
Still panting a bit, Karis replied, "I haven't laughed that hard for a long time."
Matthew noticed the opportunity, gathered his courage, and went for it. "…I think you have a beautiful laugh, Karis," Matthew stated, suddenly serious and shy.
"Karis looked at him, "You…do?" she asked a bit nervously.
"…Yeah. Then again, you are pretty beautiful, yourself…" Matthew sheepishly replied.
Karis was at a loss for words. She and Matthew stared at each other and made awkward gestures for a few minutes. Surprisingly, neither of them had had their first kiss yet. They'd had boyfriends/girlfriends in the past, but those relationships never really went anywhere. Neither of them really knew what love was, but they certainly had a very strong affection for each other.
Matthew was scared out of his mind. What if he had just made things awkward between them? He couldn't bear to lose Karis' friendship. Looking at her, he saw that she didn't seem afraid or creeped out, but instead she looked almost…happy, as if she wanted this to happen. It was then that Matthew decided that he would press on and not look back.
"You…mean a lot to me, Karis." Matthew began. "You're always…there for me…and I want to be there for you…" Matthew had absolutely no idea what he was saying. He royally sucked at all this mushy talk, but he would have to learn. Very fast.
"Matthew…you mean a lot to me, too." Karis replied, trying to sound confident.
Both of them had read love stories that usually ended in some big kiss, but did that apply here? Both of them knew how they wanted this to turn out, but they had to take it slowly. One false move could ruin everything.
"Sorry, I'm really no good at this kind of stuff. Sorry for all the cheesy lines," Matthew said quietly, trying to hide his blush.
"I thought they were very nice things to say…" Karis replied very shyly.
That gave Matthew all the courage he needed. It was time to pop the question.
"Listen, Karis. I've liked you for a long time. I like everything about you. Your hair, your voice…it's all perfect. Would you like to go out sometime…with me? Matthew asked a bit shyly.
"Matthew…yes! Yes, I'd love that! Karis gleefully replied.
Matthew instantly developed a huge grin on his face. Finally, the girl of his dreams was going on a date with him! His mind drifted back to those romance stories with some kiss at the end of them. Should he do that now? Looking into Karis' eyes, he could tell she was thinking the same thing. He'd asked out a few girls in the past, but those times were never as serious and heartfelt as this one. He decided to go for it.
He slowly leaned in.
So did Karis.
He leaned in a little further.
So did Karis.
That was all the motivation he needed. He leaned in completely. Their lips touched. They were actually kissing! It was one of the most heavenly things Matthew had ever experienced. The kiss lasted about 30 seconds. Then they pulled away. They stared into each others' eyes and smiled. Karis gave Matthew a tight hug. Matthew eagerly returned it. They closed their eyes in each other's embrace. Their fantasies where finally becoming reality! Nothing was going to ruin this moment…
"HAH! WE WON THE BET! PAY UP, SUCKERS!" Kite, the Jupiter djinn shouted, snapping Matthew and Karis out of their romantic moment.
"We didn't bet anything," Clover replied calmly.
"…Are you serious? Dang!" shouted Fleet.
"I want a rematch!" Swift put in. "We're betting 5 coins on Karis this time!"
"Fine," replied Geode. "We've got Matthew."
"Get 'em, Karis!" Kite sprightly shouted.
"You can do it, Matthew!" cheered Clover and Geode.
When Karis looked at Matthew, she knew what he was thinking. "Wait, Matthew! No, Stop! ahahahAHAHAAH!" laughed Karis as Matthew sent her into hysterics all over again.