Nngh...All right, another General story from me.

Okay, writing this, I thought it was a cool concept, the great Keyblade Master envying the freedom of children, so I wrote it down, and this is the result. It's Sora combined with serious contemplation. And he can be serious. In fact, I think I make him overserious in a lot of fics. But hey, I like him that way. He's versatile - goofy, clueless, romantic, serious, sad, light-hearted, passionate, soon and so forth.

Well, I'm rambling, so here it is, and blah blah blah, tell me what you think.

Disclaimer: Um...uh...do I...do I have to? (Sigh) All right. I don't! I don't own Kingdom Hearts. I don't. No. I don't.


It was a stormy week he was going through, in the metaphorical sense of the word. Drumming his fingers on the table, he tilted his head back, letting out a sigh, and closed his eyes for a brief moment. Even if it weren't so, it felt like his very soul was weary. And his heart felt heavy in his chest.

At first he'd wanted a purpose in the world. Now he wanted to forget he had one.

And then, as a worthy distraction, there was a sudden noise that made him jump in his chair.

Turning his head, from the café he watched as a child jumped up and down, tugging at a woman's arm. His green eyes, bright and striking even from so far a distance, glittered and rested eagerly on the sword in his possession. The woman holding his wrist sternly kept shaking her head, nervous look in her eyes as she looked now and again to him, as if he was some kind of pervert or psycho.

But Sora only watched in interest, feeling the corners of his lips twitch in amusement as the kid kept protesting, wanting to see the weapon up close.

Had he been like that once? He was too far away to hear the tales of his mother now, the tales he hadn't bothered to listen to when he was immature and more foolish…the tales he missed so much, not because they were about him but because they were told in the sweet hush of his mother's voice. Had he been innocent, excited, a lover of danger?

He let out a wistful sigh. To be a child…

Shaking his head, Sora left munny on the counter and rose, running a hand through his hair as he grinned back at Yuffie sitting on the counter. She waved him off briefly and turned back to talk Leon's ear off, each paying him no mind. He normally disappeared time and again, as he would now, so they weren't too fazed by his sudden leave.

Walking at an easy pace, he came to stand before the two. Upon stopping he caught a look of horror and shame on the woman's face, but only smiled in greeting and nodded his head to her. She flushed, looking down at the boy who had quieted considerably, and following her gaze Sora looked down into wide green eyes. Offering a grin, he crouched down to the boy's eye level, and as he edged back he reached for the sword at his belt and held it out for the boy to admire.

The kid went stock-still in amazement. His eyes flitting to him once, he looked down hurriedly at the sword, and then, tentatively and with extreme care, he reached out a hand, fingers brushing across the metal. Smiling, Sora lifted his eyes to the woman, but the smile fell at her gaze. There was a sad look on her features then, as she regarded him, and Sora looked away, feeling something in his chest clench tightly, so tight he almost lost his breath at it. Suddenly his body felt cold.

As the child's chattering grew with mounting excitement, he stared uneasily at the cobblestones, discomfort filling him. He knew that look; it was a look that many mothers gave him. It was that, "You're still just a boy," look. And sometimes, it was accompanied by that, "Your poor mother," look, which killed him the most.

The kid was amusing, Sora came to realize as he finally looked back. He worked himself up over a piece of shiny metal, attracting endearing looks as he squealed and worshipped the blade. Sora smiled, reminiscent of days of heroes and superpowers, of ruling the island with his three friends. He missed childhood, something he'd lost a few years back.

And now he felt like he was an adult trapped in a kid's body, and that he would never again be able to regain the youthfulness and childish spark he once had. Now, something held him back. And he believed it was called…responsibility.

He blinked, realizing he was zoning out, and then regarded the boy calmly. "Cool, huh?" he asked softly.

The kid grinned, showing gaps between his upper teeth. Sora chuckled. "Yeah."

At last he pulled it away slightly, and then sighed and hitched it to his side, running his hands over his knees as he stared at the kid enviously. He missed what he had; he missed not knowing how horrible it was to be responsible for everything. He missed not being the hero.

He missed not knowing just how horrible and corrupt the world really was.

"But remember," he said gently, "it's just pretend, right?"

The kid blinked, a crushed look spreading on his face. Sora winced, regarding the expression with painful familiarity. He knew it. Oh, he knew it well. Only, whenever he saw that kind of disappointment, it was amplified and so much more mature, raw, and heart-wrenching on the faces of all those who bore it. Mostly, it was people he met along his travels, people who'd lost something dear. But he saw it strongest in Riku, and in Kairi…

And in himself.

Sora forced a smile, however. The child didn't need to know that life was full of disappointments. Not yet, at any rate.

"You don't need a sword to be a superhero, right?"

The child looked confused at his words, and Sora grinned at him, standing. Looking to the woman, who was in awe of him, he patted his sword and grinned down at the blonde-haired boy.

"Just remember that, okay?"

He didn't bother to wait for a reaction from either of the two, and instead just walked off, away from the pair, and shoved his hands in his pockets. Walking on the path to Second District, relieved to see no people around to cast him odd looks or give him extra attention, he then sighed, eyes downcast.

Children were so blissful, because they didn't know of real horrors. And he wanted that, that unbridled adoration and hope and trust. He wanted to know that he would always be protected, to never doubt that there was no way that somehow things could go wrong.

And he wanted to appreciate the sword that gave him his destiny just as that boy had.

But he couldn't.

"Another admiring fan?"

Sora blinked at the voice and looked up to see Riku leaning against the doors, smirking as he looked him in the eyes. There. There was the look again, flickering in and out of place, always there. It was never caused, never sparked. It was just there, a part of him.

But Sora nodded, smiling growing on his lips.

At times, it was just best to let it slide and allow a false sense of happiness. Because to allow in even the smallest thing, something so fake as laughter or a forced smile, it was a way of slowly building up to the fact that things could get better, that you could accept that one day you could be happy, could laugh without horrible memories…even if you didn't want to admit that.

"Just another day in the life of the Keyblade Master."

"Ah."

Sora rolled his eyes and gave the sword a pat. "When will they realize it's not so great, though?"

"Oh, they won't. Don't kid yourself."

He smiled. "So I'm hopeful."

Riku stretched his arms over his head. "Well, be hopeful that we'll make it back to Kairi on time before she kills us." He pinned him with a look. "Especially you."

Smiling, Sora nodded. "I'll protect you, Riku. With my super keyblade powers!" The keyblade appeared in his hand upon signal, and he laughed softly at it, swinging it around with a flourish.

Riku merely shook his head, grinning in amusement. "You're such a child, Sora."

Blinking, he felt his smile slip, and then the keyblade vanished. Lowering his arm, he smiled softly, looking off to the distance, the sky dark above their heads. That sky would take them away again, some time. He wanted, at least, to spend a little more time with Riku…and Kairi…before that happened.

How he missed her. How he missed the days they used to share.

"I wish," he murmured sincerely, memories making the bliss he'd formally felt seem so far away.

Riku clapped him on the shoulder and he averted his gaze back to him, forcing a smile. "C'mon, Keyblade Master," he said, voice soft. Sora winced. "Let's go home."

Home…

Those days of childhood, their real home, were too far away for ever be reached again.

And he was envious of all those out there…who had never grown up.


Eh...yeah. I revised the ending just before I posted this. How's it sound? And it's Sora and Riku friendship near the end, by the way. You know me; if anything, I tried to hint at Sora/Kairi skillfully. -scratches head- Eh. Oh well.

Okay, so once there was this fanfic written by this author, and she was really strange, as the readers soon realized, and at the end of this fanfic was this note that was very random and kept asking and asking and asking and asking for reviews. And the only way to get the note to stop asking was for every single person that read the story to review!

Will there be reviews to stop the madness? The author sure hopes so!