a/n: No, I don't know what I'm doing. In fact, I rarely do.

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Simply Because

"I'm leaving."

"I know."

The silence annoyed them, but the words would have hurt them. "I see."

She brushes wisps of charcoal threads away from her face and stares at an ancient yellow backpack, a friend she hadn't seen in years. She reaches down and grabs an extra weapon pouch.

"Why?"

She pauses. Should he know? No. "Because."

"Because why?"

She pouts and turns to the smug swordsman. "You're being very disagreeable today, y'know?"

"Because you want to find him, right?"

He can hear ice breaking somewhere, either in her voice or in her heart. "How do you know that?" Her voice is still, swift and cold, like statues at night in winter. "Where did you hear that?"

"You talk in your sleep." He shrugs, trying to destroy the tension. It always annoys him, an enemy he can't kill with the Gunblade.

"You've been watching me sleep??"

Turquoise eyes roll, imploring the heavens. "Make that bang-against-the-wall-effectively-waking-me-up-so-I-have-to-go-in-here-and-make-sure-you're-not-being-murdered-and-then-you-start-mumbling in your sleep."

She stares inquisitively at a convenient sock she's just located hiding under her bed. "What did I say." It's a statement – he had no other option but to answer. Even if it had been a question, he found it likely that she'd kick him in both legs until he did answer.

He tries to brush the question away like an annoying butterfly. "Oh, nothing much. You know, the whole 'I miss you where are you' spiel."

"You're lying."

It seems the butterfly has turned into a moth and he's just become a flaming light bulb ten times brighter than the power of the sun. "No I'm not."

"Yes you are." No argument in her words again.

The flame only burns the persistent moths. "How do you know?"

"Because I never tell him I miss him." She's quiet (an unusual state of mind for her) as she places more runaway socks and scarves and shuriken in her bag.

His eyebrow ascends and the usual façade is broken, at least for the moment. "Oh?"

"Nope. Never. All I tell him is that he's an idiot and I hate him and that I hope some conveniently placed black hole swallows him on his way to the next place to find me."

"Harsh."

"I know." She's finished packing, he realizes. Uh-oh. "That's why I hafta go find him and fish him out."

She's won, they know. He sighs and scuffs his boots on polished wood, unnaturally cleaned of all her junk. "Are you sure you don't want us with you?"

She stands up and turns around to face him. Her short hair is messy, her visible skin dusty, but she's smiling and her storm cloud eyes are laughing at him. "Nope, Squallie m'boy. I've gotta find him by myself and yell at him before leaving him to fend off whatever army of mole people he's managed to enrage with all his ellipses." A bark of laughter suddenly comes from her throat, raw and unchecked because of the memories she's woken up. "Yeah, he's quieter than you on a bad day, y'know!"

The sly smile's on her face, the one she wears when she's whipping their butts at poker, but so are the silver streams that come from her eyelids when she sleeps.

He smiles. "Then good luck, and tell him we say hi."

She salutes her older brother-figure. "Will do!" The last syllable was choked and she berates herself for it.

She could never carry off that velvet smoothness he could when he was sad, and she envied him for it. So thinking, she mentally added that to the list of things to yell at him about when she found him.

Her bag's on her back and she feels like a carefree wanderer again, out to steal whatever from whoever, but finally she's looking for something. Finally, she's got a purpose.

She's halfway down the hall from the room when he calls out to her in his almost-the-same-but-not-quite voice that always reminds her of him. "…he's not gonna be the one to upset the mole people, is he?"

Her face explodes in a full grin. Typical Squall statement. "…No. You're right, I'll probably annoy them. But don't worry," she turns around and gives him her peace sign and a wink with watery eyes, "he'll get me outta there."

Squall chuckles and looks into the newly cleaned room. "I don't know why he bothers with you."

"Neither do I."

She feels as calm as she was when she watched Sephiroth summon Supernova, but her face is sculpted into icy edges and curves and lines. Bag slung on her back, it's like being on the road again and she sinks into nostalgia for half a heartbeat.

"I thought you said you hated him."

She makes the tears go away with a quick brush of a gloved hand and doesn't stop. "I lied. I'm very good at lying."

"Evidently." The scoff is in his voice even if his eyes are warm with approval. "You could get killed."

"I won't."

"Oh? Why not?"

"...Because he won't let me."

The grin's back on her face when she breaks into a sprint for the door while yelling back at him. Who knows, he may have already met the mole people at this point!

"And because people do stupid things when they love each other!"

---end---

a/n: Awww... how lovely. I don't care if you hate it. You want originality?! I'll GIVE you originality!!!! ...and no, I don't hate you, Hume. Though if you're reading this, I want to say that I agree with you on your views of my plaigirism. I suck. .

I can no longer read Squiffies because I am always filled with a horrible sense of wrongness when I read them. If you know who Yuffie's searching for... kudos to you. And I don't care if you disapprove of that particularpairing. I like them together. And this makes this little blurb of a fic what, thefourth Y/V Kingdom Hearts fanfic in the category?!

Writing in present tense is funfun.