Chiropractor and Train
Terra's mouth dropped open and his jaw practically reached the floor when he saw the beautiful red-haired woman again, but at the most unexpected moment and location ever. Needless to say, he'd recognized her immediately, but he had to pinch himself in order to be sure that he wasn't dreaming or hallucinating. Honestly, who had ever thought that she was a chiropractor? He wasn't sure if this was all just a mere coincidence or him being lucky. At least she didn't look all that sad and thoughtful now, what with the polite but genuine smile on her face. Whether she was masking her real feelings or not, he didn't know.
She gave him a hand, which he shook almost too eagerly. "My name is Kairi."
Kairi... Wow. That was a highly unusual but pretty name. Kind of exotic even. Terra frowned when he caught his train of thoughts. Why the hell was he even thinking all of that now? This was a serious appointment for crying out loud, not some blind date!
He shook his head to get rid of the silly thoughts, recovering quickly enough to mutter a rather dazed, "Uh, Terra."
"Please come in, Mr. Terra."
She stepped aside and let him enter her office. The brunet man looked around him and saw a neat, clean office. At least that was a good sign.
"Please, take a seat." When he did as he was told, she smiled at him. "So what's the matter?"
"Oh! Uh… My leg hurts and sometimes I have these weird muscle spasms. So I was hoping that maybe you could help me…"
She nodded, as she took notes and typed something in the computer. "This is your first visit I see. Let me guess, you've got terrible headaches with that, too?"
Terra blinked. "Yeah," was the surprised answer. "How did you know?"
She gave him a knowing smile that made her violet eyes shine brighter, as she explained patiently, "Well, chiropractors usually manipulate the spine with our hands to realign the vertebrae and relieve the pressure on the nerves. Before this happens, tension headaches are pretty normal. The kind of treatment that we use is very effective for such tension headaches, muscle spasms of the back and neck, and leg pain."
Terra nodded. "I see."
The brunet had never known that. He couldn't help but notice that she had a pretty smile. It felt as though the whole room lit up when she smiled.
"Okay. Let's get started, then."
Terra nodded. And suddenly, going to the chiropractor didn't seem like such a waste of time anymore.
Terra looked around him, but after fifteen minutes, there was still no trace of Aqua. He didn't want to admit it, but he was starting to get a little worried; Aqua was never late. In fact, she was the kind of woman that arrived somewhere fifteen minutes too early. Her "late" meant when she managed to get to her destination two minutes before the appointment would start. If that didn't say enough already then he didn't know what did.
At the moment, the brunet man was sitting all alone at a table, waiting for his best friend. He had tried to call her on her mobile phone several times now, but she wouldn't pick up. Maybe she was just stuck in the traffic with her mobile's battery dying on her, but it could also be something else. Terra decided that if she didn't come in another fifteen minutes, he would start looking for her.
At that moment, a pretty red-haired woman, who had just entered the coffee shop, happened to spot him. She smiled, taking something out of her purse, before making her way over to him.
"Hi, mind if I sit down here?" she asked politely.
This seemed to bring him out of his reverie. Surprise was written all over his face when he saw that it was his chiropractor again. She was definitely one of the last people he'd expected to see here, especially because this was the third time in two weeks that she was seeing him. This couldn't be a mere coincidence, right?
"Hey. Yes, of course," he said, motioning for her to sit down.
"Thank you." She took a seat on the chair opposite from him and smiled at him. "It's a good thing that I saw you, because you forgot your watch the other day."
Wow, it seems that this day is full of surprises for me, he thought with a raise of his dark brows.
"Thanks! I've been looking for it for days," he said, which was a lie, because quite honestly, he hadn't even noticed that it was gone.
But that didn't matter now.
It was silent between them for a moment, but then he couldn't resist but ask about something that had been bothering him for a while now. "I'm sorry, but have we met somewhere before? I keep having the strange feeling that I know you…"
She smiled. "That's probably because we actually have, several times."
At this, his eyebrows shot up again, almost disappearing into his hairline. Was she joking around with him?
Okay, so he might not have the best memory in the world (because that position was Aqua's already, there was no doubt about that), but he was pretty sure that he would have been able to remember at leastthat.
"Yeah, I'm Kairi, the little girl who was never allowed to come and play with you guys in your tree hut, because that blonde, spiky-haired boy always got nervous from me."
Terra scratched the back of his head sheepishly, feeling more and more stupid with every passing second. Especially now that the bells had started ringing. Not only that, but he was feeling a little guilty again.
"Yeah… Sorry 'bout that… I think he had a little crush on you back when he was six. So he wanted to avoid you most of the time."
Terra could still remember those days. It was before Ven had met Naminé.
Kairi laughed heartily, and he couldn't help but notice that it sounded like sweet music in his ears. "That's okay. I don't blame you. But it certainly does explain a lot."
To get rid of the awkwardness in the air, he decided to change the subject. "I haven't seen you for a long while."
"I used to live near the market place with my grandma. But I moved out of town when I went to college and my grandma passed away shortly after that, so I never had a reason to come back to that place again, what with the memories and all. It would only leave me to deal with the pain and loss," she explained calmly.
"Oh… I'm sorry."
"It's okay, it's been a long time. Anyways, I should go now, before my overly worried friend calls the cops. I'm already running late," she admitted with another laugh, as she got up from her chair. "I'm sorry."
Terra's face fell at once and he tried to shake off the disappointment. "Oh, I guess I'll see you around?" he asked, hoping that he wasn't sounding too eager or hopeful.
"Sure, I've rented a room, not too far away from here actually. See you soon hopefully."
Yeah...hopefully, he thought as he watched her retreating back.
Terra didn't know what it was about this woman, but it made him want to know so much more about her.
Aqua was sitting in the train, on her way back home to Radiant Garden, studying a particularly difficult piece of music that Leon had given her today just for the kicks. Sometimes she had the feeling that he was thinking too highly about her, or perhaps even comparing himself with her, which was why he was always giving her the hardest pieces to study. She really needed all her concentration for it, so it felt as though any distraction was at least ten times worse than it usually was.
If she closed her eyes right now, she was sure that she would fall asleep immediately, lulled by the light rocking motions of the train. A perfect way to fall asleep. Too bad that that was out of the question; the last thing Aqua wanted was to miss her stop and wake up on the other side of the country. Granted, that had never happened before, but who said that there wasn't a first time for everything?
Abruptly, Aqua became aware of a strange sensation prickling the back of her neck, as though someone was looking at her. Call her crazy, but she could practically feel a pair of eyes burning holes in her face. At once, she looked up sharply, and found herself confronted by a pair of big, cerulean blue eyes. Apparently, her suspicions had been right, for the spiky-haired brunet man that sat across from her was looking at her almost in childlike wonder. He was too late to avert his gaze and pretend to be watching the scenery outside.
He blushed when she caught him watching her and coughed. "Uh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to stare… It's just…you remind me of someone," he explained, somewhat awkwardly.
Aqua nodded, not fully convinced yet, before returning her gaze back to the stack of music sheets in her hands. "I see."
Oh god, please don't let this be one of those creepy guys that will follow you to your home, she thought, fixing her attention back to the sheets in her hand.
In such cases, it was always better to ignore them. Aqua knew this out of experience…unfortunately. And if things really were about to get nasty, she could always use her bag (which was full of study books, thankfully) to K.O. him. It was heavy enough to leave someone with a concussion. Here was hoping that it wasn't a law student, so she wouldn't get sued for it afterward. Those people were able to formulate facts in such a way that it looked as though the victim was at fault. No wonder that most people didn't like them.
Almost as though the man across from her could read her thoughts he said, "You're probably thinking that I'm some kind of a creep now, and I can't really blame you, but I was speaking the truth…and I won't bother you again."
Aqua looked up at him and stared for a moment, biting her bottom lip. She would lie if she denied that this guy had such a sweet innocence about him. There was something about his eyes and face that reminded her of Ven. How could he possibly be a creep? Then again, she'd seen stranger things in life.
Eventually she said, "Okay… I believe you."
He grinned at her at that. "Well, that's a relief. That bag of yours looks like it could knock me out with one swing."
She laughed. "Good thing I don't have to use it against you then."
It became quiet around them again. After a while, the man took a magazine out of his own backpack and started leafing through it until he'd found the page that he wanted to read. When she heard the noise, Aqua automatically looked up from her own work. And that was when she noticed the cover.
"Wait a minute, is that Weapons Monthly's limited edition?" she asked, her voice laced with surprise.
He looked up so suddenly that he strained his neck. Rubbing it, he asked, completely in awe, "You actually know Weapons Monthly?"
She laughed again, because that bewildered look on his face made him look even more like Ven. They could easily have passed as brothers, had it not been for their hair color.
To be honest, Aqua was used to get such reactions from people, especially from guys, but it was still funny to see their faces. It was as though in their head, no girl had ever heard of stuff that was usually stereotyped as 'guy things'.
"Yes, I do," she replied calmly. "A good friend of mine reads it quite often… And he's been pretty upset by the fact that he couldn't get his hands on this limited edition."
Yes, Terra was still nagging about how he'd been too late to get one from the bookseller where he usually bought his magazines.
The stranger then grabbed another unopened edition of the magazine out of his bag and wordlessly handed it over to her. The plastic packaging still held it, indicating that it was a brand new copy. Aqua didn't take it from him, though.
"Oh, that's very kind of you, but I can't accept this."
"I don't wanna hear any of that. Besides, I already have one. What would I want with two of them?" he insisted, practically shoving the magazine in her hands now.
"Okay… Well, thank you." Aqua smiled, and tucked the magazine in her bag.
"You're welcome. See it as my way of making it up to you for staring at you earlier. I'm Sora, by the way," he said, while treating her with another goofy smile.
That one sentence seemed to be the perfect conversation starter, because soon enough, they were talking about the silliest things, from their studies and hobbies to their favorite places to travel. Aqua had never felt this comfortable before with someone she had just met. There just was something about Sora that made her feel completely at ease, be it his spontaneous comments or his ability to let her forget about all the bad things that were happening in the world. The guy was probably quite a heartbreaker without him even knowing it.
When it was almost time to get out of the train, Aqua put her music sheets back into her bag. Quite frankly, she hadn't even looked at them ever since she'd started conversing with Sora. To Aqua's surpise, the train didn't stop at the Radiant Garden drop-off and this didn't go unnoticed by her new friend, either.
"Hey, I was supposed to get off the train here!" Sora cried in surprise.
"Me too," Aqua said with a frown. "Do you think there's something wrong with the train?"
Because if the brakes weren't working, they were in deep trouble, with 'deep' being the understatement of the century…
As if on cue, they heard the train driver's voice booming from the intercom, "Dear passengers, this is your train driver speaking. As you may or may not have noticed, the train didn't make its usual stop at Radiant Garden's station. This was a small control error from my part and I apologize for that. Our next stop will be at Traverse Town. The passengers that had to get out at this stop will have to take the bus or another train from there. Have a nice day everyone."
They both let out a groan. Seriously, of all the days that the train driver could make a mistake, it had to happen on the one that Aqua was in a hurry.
"This is just my luck. Well, at least I'm in good company," Sora said with a big smile.
With that, they resumed their conversation. Aqua started telling him about her two best friends (and how she couldn't imagine life without them even if they were impossible sometimes) and about her current job.
"Oh, then you must know Squall Leonhart, huh?"
"Yeah," she replied, surprised that he knew the man too.
Admittedly, Leon was a famous person, but Sora didn't look like the type to know people like him, as stereotypical as that may sound. Sora kept surprising her today.
"Kairi, I mean...a good friend of mine is quite a fan of him ever since she had the honor to interview him, probably to the point that she got some sort of…celebrity crush on him, even though he probably doesn't count as a celebrity. But you get my point, right? That's why I know him. At first, she'd wanted an interview with Xehanort, or whatever the guy's name was, but he just sent her away."
That didn't surprise the bluenette at all.
"I see. Xehanort can be a little…"
She laughed. "Yeah… That's what everyone says when they meet him, but once you really get to know him…you'll find out he's much worse."
Sora chuckled. "I've never met him, but I'm believing you on that one."
Soon enough, they arrived in Traverse Town, where they took the bus to Radiant Garden together. After that, Aqua and Sora parted ways; Aqua had to stop near the Market Place, while Sora continued traveling further. Even though she had just met him, Aqua couldn't help but secretly wish that they would meet again. It was so refreshing to meet someone with so much energy and positivity for a change.
Suddenly, Aqua froze on her spot when she saw that Terra wasn't sitting alone at a table in Radiant Garden's most popular coffee shop. Neither of the two noticed her watching them from a distance, which was only good, because now she could study the other person. The woman's features seemed fairly familiar to Aqua, especially her wine red hair.
Wait a minute... I do know her!
It had been a while, but even if she was only seeing the side of her face, she would recognize Kairi anywhere. The question was, what was she doing there with Terra of all people? Terra had never mentioned anything about the redhead. Did he know Kairi? Should she be worried?
Wait, why worried? I don't even know what's going on, she thought, chiding herself mentally.
Nonetheless, the bluenette couldn't help but feel uncomfortable, seeing those two together. Kairi didn't stay at his table for too long; soon enough, she got up from her place and moved to leave. All Aqua could hear was how the woman mentioned something about having a room nearby (why would she do that?!). After that, she left. As Aqua passed Kairi, she got a whiff of her sweet perfume; roses.
When Kairi had left the coffeehouse, Aqua could finally move again. Slowly, she made her way over to where Terra was sitting.
"There you are! I was already starting to wonder if you had forgotten about me or something," the brunet man said, as he made room for Aqua to sit next to him on the more comfortable couch-chair, instead of the hard, wooden chairs that stood at the other side of the table.
Call it petty, but this made Aqua incredibly happy, especially because he hadn't done the same thing with Kairi, so perhaps he didn't really care about her at all.
"Sorry I'm late. The train skipped this place due to some error in the computer or something, and it only stopped in Traverse Town. I guess that the machinist didn't pay enough attention."
Terra chuckled. "That's okay. Nothing ever goes well with the train systems. That's why I was looking for a job near my house."
"No, you were looking for a job close by because you're too lazy to travel," Aqua reminded him dryly.
Terra shrugged, knowing that there was no point denying it. "…I guess that has some truth in it, too."
Aqua shook her head, before she remembered the question that she'd wanted to ask him for a while now. "…Who was that woman?"
"That was Kairi, my chiropractor."
Could this be the same Kairi that Sora was talking about earlier or was every girl's name Kairi in this part of the town? Aqua decided that it didn't matter now.
"What did she do here? Have an extra session with you?"
Aqua flat-out hated sounding so ridiculously nosy, but she couldn't help it. She just hoped that her best friend wouldn't notice anything.
Terra rolled his eyes. "Believe it or not, but no. I forgot my watch the other day and she merely returned it to its rightful owner."
"Oh, I see. How nice of her... Anyways, I got you something."
Aqua took Sora's present from her backpack and handed it over to Terra.
His cobalt blue eyes widened considerably and he punched the air when he saw what it was. "Where did you get this from?"
"Someone I met on the train had two of them, so he gave one to me."
"Aqua, you're the best!"
And when he pulled her to him to catch her in a bear hug, he honestly didn't seem to care that he was attracting the attention of the other occupants of the room. Aqua blushed at the close contact. She spent so much time with him that sometimes she just forgot how muscular and strong he really was...