Many are quick to misuse the term "heartless". Some would refer to one of callous nature, one who would smile at the pain of another, as such. It could not be so, for one without a heart could never find pleasure, regardless of it's source. "Heartless" is more appropriately used in describing one with no ability to act on moral or personality. One whose grip on concepts of such is faint and often faked. One with so little...

Sora's indigo shaded eyes found the clouds that hung over his island home. How long he had been away from such pleasures; since he had sat on this tree, just staring up at the seemingly endless blue. It was the tree he had grown up playing on, the one with the smooth, comfortable, bark, and the strangely curved trunk that made such an inviting seat. There had been times he'd wondered if he would ever rest on it again, fearing his old life lost to darkness. Looking back, it seemed it had been much more than the year or so he had been away. He embraced the moment, knowing it precious. His journey had taught him to never take everyday for granted. It was evening; the sun tinted his pale skin with orange hues. Why had he suddenly felt so drawn to evening? It seemed welcoming and familiar to him, somehow, though he lacked reasoning for it. His eyes scanned the distant purple clouds of twilight before closing, a serene feeling overtaking the boy.

"Sora?"

Sora's eyes flashed open and he bolted around in surprise. His gaze greeted the face of a girl about his age; her features framed by locks a deep shade of red. Her lavender eyes contained a kind quality, and a sweet smile decorated her lips.

"Kairi? I thought you left with Riku," Sora stated in confusion.

"I started to... but I wanted to stay with you, today," Kairi replied quietly.

Sora had, since Kairi, Riku, and himself had returned to the Destiny Islands, made a habit of staying out later than his friends. Every day, as the three headed towards where they had docked their boats, Sora would hold back. He would stay out, as he was tonight, until it was fairly late. Until the sun disappeared. Then he would mimic his friends and return home for the night. He didn't know why, but whenever he was about to leave, he had the sudden urge to stay for dusk. It had had a new appeal to him since the end of his adventure.

"Oh... how come?" Sora returned casually, noticing that her face had become clouded with anxiety.

Kairi neared him and settled alongside him on the tree's broad body.

"Ever since we came back here, you've been staying after Riku and me left. Is something wrong?" Kairi looked hard at the boy in front of her as she spoke.

"No, not at all, Kairi. I just... it's that I really like how this place is in the evening. Nothing to worry about," he comforted.

That had to be it. Island sunsets were a beautiful thing to watch. He remembered how he had used to never think much of them... Maybe being away so long made him appreciate them more truly.

The girl smiled, though Sora could see it was a mask she veiled her feelings with. She wanted him not to be concerned over her.

"I guess I must be kind of jumpy. From everything that happened, I mean... Sora, when you and Riku didn't come through the portal after me, I thought I'd never see you again. It was like we had done all of this and were still separated. I was so frightened," she explained, her eyes becoming glossy as she neared tears.

"You didn't honestly think I'd forget my promise, did you?" Sora answered, nodding towards the seashell charm that Kairi had tied to her belt.

He grinned, trying to lighten the mood.

"Sora..." Kairi said seriously, looking at the object.

He noticed his effort to cheer her had failed, and his smile faded.

"If you're worried, then don't be. I'll even come back with you now, if you want me to," Sora responded, standing.

Kairi smiled, an expression more sincere than her last.

She got to her feet, also, now standing beside Sora.

"It's just like it was, don't you think?" she remarked contentedly.

"What do you mean?" Sora asked curiously.

"Remember, the evening before we were separated. I told you to never change," her words began to fill with slight sorrow.

"Oh yeah... I guess you're right. When you think about it, not much really has changed. We just found out some things about ourselves," Sora replied, his tone far lighter than Kairi's.

Kairi turned in the direction of the dock, looking back to see Sora follow. She noticed his neck was turned, reaching back towards the tree he had been viewing the sunset from. Her face was consumed by an anxious appearance once more. Sora pulled himself away, almost reluctantly, and followed her.

"Let's go," Kairi urged, less impatient than troubled.

"Sure," he spoke in a muted tone, almost a whisper.

The two turned for the dock together, finding their boats bobbing eagerly in the waves, as if calling for the children to board them. They climbed in, rowing away from the island they had spent many a sunny day on.