One day she came to school with a barrette in her hair. No hat (when was the last time she hadn't worn a hat?), no ponytail (even though she only wore one once, for picture day, a long time ago), just a simple barrette with a flower on it to pull her hair back.

Of course, everyone asked her who it was from. It must have been a very special gift from a very special person, for Sora to change her hair like that. (Besides, it was pretty.)

She didn't answer, though. Just smiled, and changed the subject.


All that day, the gossip continued. Could it be from a boy? The more practical ones suggested that it might have been from her father— he wasn't home too often, or so they had heard. But if it was a boy, who could it possibly be?

If she had heard them talking, she didn't give any sign of it.


Later that afternoon, someone spotted her out on the athletic field with a boy. And they were laughing, as they played an impromptu game of soccer.

Her hair was waving in the breeze, her eyes shining brightly, her cheeks pink from the chill of the air. He was smiling, a wide grin fading to the half smile he reserved for serious moments and his close friends.

Could it be from a boy? they wondered, again, watching.

Her barrette had slipped down, hanging at a crooked angle. She hadn't noticed yet. But he had, apparently, because he stopped and reached out to take the barrette out of her hair. Then, oh so gently (awkwardly, said the practical ones, it wasn't romantic at all) he put it back, pushing her bangs back again.

Her face flushed a little more, but that could have been the wind.
And maybe his hand lingered by her face just a little longer than was strictly necessary.
She might have even looked at him a little differently than usual.

But then they ran again, laughing, racing; and there was nothing left to see.


She never did tell who it was from.

(And even those who guessed correctly didn't believe it, because a boy like him would never buy something as girly as a flowery barrette. Right?)

(In any case, this was easier to think about than how that missile nearly blew up their town last week.)

author's notes: This is a remix of my older fic 'flower', because I liked the premise but didn't like the writing anymore. There won't be any sequels, though, because-- well, I'm more of a Sorato fan, in the long run. :)