Think Happy Thoughts
By: Koorino Megumi
This is my response to a drabble challenge from my friend Ginger Ninja. It's slightly-AU and takes place just after the game. Enjoy!
They had only one day.
This quest was over for Sora, and the worlds were being restored--as were the walls between them. But Sora's journey was far from done, and somehow he knew inside--or, more likely, had learned from that open door when he had started this process--that it would take one day before travel between worlds became impossible. Which meant he and Kairi had one more day together before they would have to part ways once again.
When he'd told her as much, she'd looked at him sadly but nodded resolutely. "Take me somewhere," she'd said.
And with a little thought, Sora had smiled and obliged, taking her to the best world he could think of out of those that still existed.
Kairi immediately gasped at the view of the city from their perch on Big Ben, stumbling and grabbing onto Sora's arm, holding tightly. "Sora," she breathed, her breath catching in her throat, "This is beautiful!"
Sora smiled fondly, gently tugging his arm from her grasp and then reaching up to put it securely around her shoulders. "I thought you'd like the view," he stated, grinning goofily, "But...there's more to it than that." And he winked at her.
Kairi blinked. "More? What else?" She turned behind them, "Can we go in somewhere?"
Sora blinked now. "Uh...I don't know," he replied, his grin turning sheepish, "But I know something even better."
"What's that?" Kairi asked curiously.
"Just watch," Sora assured her, "And uh...I'm gonna have to let go of you for a minute, okay?"
Kairi nodded, taking a step back so she was more firmly on the platform as Sora took his arm from her shoulders.
"Now don't move," Sora instructed, "Just watch. I promise you'll love it."
"Okaay," Kairi replied uncertainly. Sora turned toward her, smiling, and stood for a moment, just looking at her with the most mischievous expression on his face. "Come on, Sora!" Kairi protested, laughing in her excitement, "What is it?"
Sora grinned again. "This!" he declared, taking a sudden step back, right off the platform, his grin never wavering.
"Sora!" Kairi gasped, rushing forward, reaching for him. But the platform was too short, and he was already gone. She stumbled to a stop at the edge, throwing herself backwards and sitting down on it in order to keep from falling off. "Sora!" she screamed again, as if that could somehow bring the boy who was gone back to the ledge with her.
And, miraculously, it did. "Yeah, Kairi?" The girl's eyes widened as spiky brown hair became visible, coming up from over the edge. Slowly, rich blue eyes were added to it, and then a goofy grin that looked far too pleased with itself. Finally the boy's body emerged, going up and up until Kairi could see even his oversized yellow shoes. But, to her amazement and disbelief, he didn't stop there, continuing until he was hovering just above the platform. "Pretty cool, huh?" he asked, his grin as wide as ever.
Kairi struggled to bring her jaw back up so she could actually use it. "Sora," she gasped, "You're flying!"
"Yep." And in typical Sora fashion, he took the opportunity to go soaring back and forth across the platform a couple times, finishing with a loop before landing in front of her, arms outstretched. "Ta-da!"
Kairi stared for a minute, and then she couldn't help but start to laugh, clapping. "Sora! That's amazing! How are you doing that?"
"It's something people can do on this world," Sora replied, "You can, too, Kairi."
Kairi's eyes widened. "Are you serious?"
Sora grinned. "Aren't I always?"
"Sora!" Kairi protested, pouting, "You better not be joking."
"I'm not! I'm not!" Sora assured her, waving his hands, "It's easy. I'll teach you."
"Really?" Kairi asked, suddenly feeling very uncertain. She had to admit, the sheer drop-off in front of them likely had something to do with the sentiment.
"Yeah," Sora replied, grinning confidently, but he frowned at the look on her face. "Don't worry, Kairi. I'll catch you if you fall."
Kairi felt a faint redness growing in her cheeks, but she ignored it, nodding. "So what do I do?" she asked.
"Think happy thoughts," Sora answered matter-of-factly.
Kairi blinked. "Think happy thoughts?" she repeated, "Okay..." And she closed her eyes, thinking of what it would be like to fly. "Now what?"
Kairi opened her eyes, frowning skeptically. "What? Shouldn't there be more to it?"
Sora shook his head, but then his eyes widened. "Oh, I forgot!" And suddenly the Keyblade was in his hand and he was activating a summon, a small little ball of light appearing and bobbing around him, getting right up in his face. "Hey, Tink," Sora greeted, "I need kinda a different favor this time."
The ball of light flashed a few times, and Sora's eyes widened slightly, his cheeks reddening. "No, that's okay. Actually, I need some help for my friend. Tinkerbell, meet Kairi." The ball of light flew over to the girl now, bobbing around her a bit, and Kairi waved hesitantly. Without any sort of response that the girl could understand, however, the summon flew back over to Sora, blinking in a way that seemed almost vicious, or at least accusatory. "No, we're not going to see Peter this time," Sora replied, looking confused. There was blinking again, more subdued this time, and then the boy grinned. "So you'll help?" More blinking. "Awesome! Okay, Kairi, you've gotta stand up."
Kairi blinked herself for a moment before she realized that she'd never gotten up after falling back. A bit embarrassed, she pulled herself to her feet. "Now what?" she asked.
"Now Tink's going to give you some fairy dust so you can fly. Right, Tink?" There was rapid flashing in response, and then the ball of light came over to her again, and Kairi looked up as she floated above her head, gasping in surprise as sparkles of light began to rain down on her. She put her hands out, trying to catch some of the substance, and smiling as her palms glittered--realizing that her arms were as well. It seemed to be forming a coating around her.
"Thanks, Tink," Sora said, and the fairy flashed again, flying back over to him and going right up to his nose before she winked out of existence. "Okay, Kairi, now try!" Sora encouraged.
Kairi looked up from her sparkling hands, feeling her nervousness return. "I just have to think happy thoughts, right?" she asked.
Sora nodded, smiling encouragingly. "The happiest you can think of."
"Okay..." Kairi frowned, closing her eyes. "Happy thoughts...hmm..." She tried to picture herself flying, soaring around the clock tower holding Sora's hand. After all, what could be happier than a dream like that?
Nothing was happening, however. She opened her eyes, looking around as if that could somehow change what she felt, but her feet were still firmly planted on the ground.
"Try something even happier," Sora suggested, "Like...if you could have any one thing you want, no matter what it is, what would make you the happiest?"
Kairi's eyes widened at that suggestion, and then she closed them again, smiling placidly now. That made it easy.
The first thing that came to her mind was the sound of waves, and then laughter--three distinct voices. Kairi's smile widened as she pictured three friends, running along the beach, the hot sun beaming down on their carefully sunscreened limbs. And then they were headed into the water, splashing and joking and having the time of their lives at a home that they had all feared was lost forever. As they got farther out, the tide began to tug at them, the children swimming just a little deeper, deep enough to duck in and out of the waves and play games together. It was such a familiar feeling, gliding over the waves, bobbing up and down and splashing and darting around her friends. Like she was flying through them...
"You've got it!"
Kairi blinked in surprise, the voice pulling her from her reverie. She looked to Sora to see what he was talking about and, realizing that she had to look several feet down to find his face, gasped and started flailing on instinct.
Sora laughed, floating up beside her and taking her hands in his to still them. "It's okay, Kairi. You won't fall."
Kairi just stared at him for a moment, struggling to swallow her panic. "Sora," she choked out, "I'm flying."
The boy laughed again. "Yeah. Toldja." Kairi was in too much awe to come up with a suitable reply to that, and Sora shook his head, tugging on her hand. "Come on, the view's even better away from the ledge."
"It's okay!" Sora reassured her, though his eyes still sparkled with mirth at her fear, "I told you I would catch you, remember?"
Kairi blushed again and nodded, the feel of his hands over hers comforting. Sora let go with one hand and gave another tug--"Come on!"--and she kicked experimentally as if she were swimming in the air, watching in amazement as she and Sora flew away from the clock tower and out over the city.
For a moment the two were silent, simply flying hand-in-hand, Kairi's gaze downward as she took in the sight with wide eyes. But finally Sora, too proud of himself not to say anything, broke it with, "Didn't I say this was even better?"
Kairi turned to the boy beside her and lunged forward, throwing her arms around him and, to her surprise, spinning a little as her magically-lightened body flew through the air. But she clung to him, finally stopping and giving him a tight hug. "You were right," she said, trying to give him a grin that would rival his own, "Thank you, Sora."
The boy suddenly looked sheepish, but he grinned back at her cheesily. "You're welcome."
It was only one day, perhaps, but for the two flying together around the clock tower, it was one of the happiest days of their lives.