All right. This is my third fic written as dedication, and it's dedicated to xsynthetic-smile for her birthday. (Since you liked Believe, I tried to right another contemplative one-shot, featuring Sora. I hope it's all right!)

Yup, another Sora-centric one-shot, because, well, he's just so cool.

And thanks for all the reviews, xsynthetic-smile. Happy birthday (well, you know, for the 26th)!

Disclaimer: Nah.

It fell in a heavy sheet, the rain constantly falling into his eyes and making him blink repeatedly. He'd come there, in the middle of the square, hoping to find relief, ease, have all the conflicting feelings in him "washed away", so to speak.

But all he felt…was wet.

He shivered and brought his jacket tighter around him, shaking his head and spraying water droplets everywhere. He was cold, too, he realized, and his hands were numb. But not for the life of him would he withdraw them from his pockets. There he at least had a little warmth.

Still, he couldn't sleep, so he paced. Walking around, starting a wide circle, he squinted through the mist and rainfall, treaded across cobblestone, and waded through puddles. He watched them from a distance before the soles of his sneakers splashed the water everywhere, and was fascinated by the ripples.

They were so beautiful. Perfect. Perfect circles, going forever and ever across a flawless surface, in harmony with nature and seemingly making music in his soul. Peace was the word for it; tranquility. Pure and basic simplicity, which made it one of the most breathtaking wonders the waking world had to offer.

And yet…it hardly ever got a second glance.

Even now, he didn't stop, didn't pause to crouch down and admire it further. He walked, and walked, and walked, disrupting the perfect ripples and marring the scene so carelessly.


After a time, he had to smile and bow his head, continuing on on an endless path. Every footfall destroyed the picture, sure, but nature worked together well enough, and the rainfall created a new puddle, the surface yielded more ripples, and soundless music played again in the dead of the night.

Nature worked together, for nature wasn't evil.

He stopped, before a puddle, and winced, gazing into his shadowed reflection. He couldn't see himself, could only see a vague outline, and perhaps that was the best. His humanity didn't stain the precious innocence the world had created.

Now he crouched down, deciding to withdraw one hand from his pocket, thinking it not much of a sacrifice. He let his fingertips touch the water, and distantly heard his teeth chatter as a gust of wind blew over him. It glided across the water, creating a slight wave as the ripples kept moving, flowing, and the raindrops beat across his hand, adding a steady rhythm to the world's silent symphony.

How beautiful.

He tore his eyes away to the sky, and furrowed his brow in disappointment. It was depressing, to see the clouds stand so dully across the dark black above, suppressing light from the stars and the moon. It took away from that which was taking place now, the small miracle the world still gave, no matter the evil the humans gave back.

Where he stood, in the time far after midnight but not close to dawn, was purity, and it couldn't be touched.

He stood, winced as his knees cracked, and finally he just stared at the ground. He, Sora, the Keyblade Master, couldn't give such a gift. He could hardly bring peace; after all, to give such a thing war had to be waged. Peace from humans wasn't a free gift; it went hand and hand with destruction.

And his weapon, a golden, shining beacon to so many, was the key and legacy to all of it: the good and the bad.

How utterly pathetic it all seemed, in the eyes of a life that was so much more content.

Sweeping a hand quickly through his hair, he shivered as he sent water droplets down his neck. It wasn't a pleasant feeling, no matter what he'd expected, but it didn't hold a token to what his life was now.

Whereas this was a physical coldness, the goose-bumps proof as they rose on his skin, wielding the keyblade and being its Master brought a coldness and numbness to his soul, and drained the life from him. It was an effort to stand there and smile for no reason now, when before he'd smile just for the sake of it. And his eyes held a storm in them, despite the blueness and brightness that was their color, that even he couldn't deny.

And many of the people didn't make that sacrifice worthwhile.

But as his eyes flitted around, he realized the world that sheltered him did. Where he could stand and enjoy the simple things in life, even for a few moments in the aching cold of a rainy night, was where he felt most content, and most responsible. Life was fragile, like the easily spilled puddles on the cobblestones and the flowers crushed under the weight of a downpour. But he found that if he took the care to crouch down and take in the beauty, or right that which has been trampled upon, a new beauty is shown through the dimmed light of the old, and is in itself so much more magnificent.

Exhaustion would follow his movements, no matter what he did now. And he closed his eyes as he stood, feeling the exhaustion move through him. But as he embraced the wind, felt the raindrops on his back, and climbed the stairs back to Second District, to the hotel where he should've been all along, he knew he had to get around it. No matter if he couldn't embrace his duty; he could embrace the life around him instead, and the beauty that made his life worthwhile.

Gritting his teeth, he pushed the doors open, muscles tightening automatically in his arms and feet slipping on the wet ground.

His life would be an effort.

His life would be a constant battle.

And he would have to face it.

He lifted his eyes, tripping slightly as he felt suddenly weary, and then he grinned. There stood Riku, rolling his eyes as rain matted the hair to his face, and Kairi, giggling as she stood on tiptoes with an umbrella, offering it to their silver-haired friend as she kept her eyes straight, on him, smile for him. He was happy that they were there, smiling back at him, despite the rain and the hour and everything in-between.

They were always there.

These were the people that sheltered him more than the whole world ever would, and kept him growing strong. These were the only people that made his trials and efforts worthwhile, were devoid of evil, made his sacrifice a choice of his own. They were the only ones that made the rain in his life and the clouds in his eyes disappear, to bring out the sunlight in his heart.

Happiness was there, with them.

His feet splashed through the puddles, the noise carrying him to them, and he knew if he only just walked hand and hand with nature and friendship, he could carry on. He could last.

And, if all helped him, he could succeed.

Love was there, in the end.

Phew. That one took me quite some thought. Eh. How was it? Reviews are lovely.