challengefic, yo
for xsynthetic-smile
"once upon a time, kingdom hearts was a game, not a fandom"
but selphie was there from the beginning, too.

-

&onceuponatime

is how Selphie likes to start out all of her stories. There are always three things; a princess, a hero, and true love. Sometimes, if she's feeling up to it, there is a dragon or a witch or an evil king. The boys only listen because she pouts and threatens to cry if they don't, and Sora sits down with a small on his face and makes Riku stay, too. Wakka and Tidus don't bother trying to avoid the inevitable storytime.

So she sits her boys down and tells them in her best six-year-old narrating style, about how to be heroes and what princesses are like, and most importantly of all, how true love will always save the day. Only Riku rolls his eyes at the end, but Selphie is happy because Wakka isn't asleep and Tidus hasn't stopped paying attention yet and Sora is actually smiling at her.

The next day Selphie doesn't tell them a story, but watches them play fight on the beach instead, and twirls her rope without thinking. Maybe she should fight too, and then they'll listen even better 'cause otherwise she'll beat them up even worse than Riku. (and maybe Sora will smile, but she's not thinking about that.) So she pulls up her rope and challenges Wakka. From that day on, Selphie fights the boys for the right to tell them stories, and she picks her fights well. Never Riku, is the rule she's learned.

The next year Sora finds a girl on the beach and Selphie thinks she'll finally have another girl who likes the stories and she doesn't have to fight. The little girl has red hair and blue eyes and Selphie doesn't know exactly what to do with her because she isn't one of her boys. Kairi is sweet and talks with Selphie but is always with Riku and Sora if she can help it, and Sora's always smiling. Wakka and Tidus still listen to her stories.

&onceuponatime

there was a princess and the hero who saved her and their true love that kept them together. Selphie has always wanted to be the princess, and the more she watches Kairi with Sora the more she knows she's not. Sometimes she cries and knocks down her sandcastles, sometimes she runs over and asks Sora to fight with her, and sometimes she tells her boys (the ones she still has) the stories she's been telling for years. Once upon a time. They listen a little less each year and Sora and Riku are a little less hers and a little more Kairi's until everything slows down and falls apart a little more.

When Kairi and Sora and Riku disappear, Selphie tries not to think about it, because everything is very hazy anyways, like she's drowning. Wakka and Tidus are beyond her voice, beyond her reach, beyond her help. The light returns however, and she finds herself on the beach with her boys and Kairi.

&onceuponatime

there was a princess of heart and hero with the key to worlds who saved her and their true love that keeps them together even now. This is the story Selphie tells once Kairi comes back, and the other girl flushes whenever Selphie adds her own romantic flourishes and interpretations. Wakka and Tidus laugh when she tries to tell them her stories, and it takes all of her whining and wheedling to get them to listen. When they do, they want to know about the princess's hair and her eyes and her bust, and what kind of sword the hero has and what good is true love anyway? More often than not Selphie storms off with angry tears in her eyes.

Kairi tells her not to worry; they're boys and they will come around eventually and, besides, Tidus does look at her that special way, doesn't he? But she usually talks about Riku and the boy she believes exists but Selphie can't remember. She remembers someone smiling…

&onceuponatime

there was a princess of heart and a hero with the key to worlds who saved her and their true love that keeps them together even now, and behind them a girl who isn't a princess and two boys who aren't heroes and countless things that can't be anymore. This is story she tells when Kairi stops listening for anything but a voice that doesn't exist, and it is the story Selphie tells when the other girl disappears again into the darkness. Her boys aren't so much her boys anymore, but they listen because she starts crying at the beginning, every time, without fail.

Kairi comes back, of course, and Selphie expects that Sora and Riku will follow because they are her boys. She doesn't say anything but cordial welcomes and the same gossip when she returns, flushed with excitement and accompanied by a mouse and a duck and a dog. Instead, Selphie lets them tell her stories, and files them away, puts them away for a rainy day when she won't feel like crying and Kairi won't be listening.

&onceuponatime

there was a princess of heart and a hero with the key to worlds who saved her and their true love that keeps them together even now, and behind them a girl who isn't a princess and two boys who aren't heroes and countless things that can't be anymore and a boy who ran away because he was the only one who wanted anything worth wanting but never really got it. She adds on that last little part about Riku because the mouse told her about him and Selphie wasn't the kind to leave anyone out.

When the dog and duck and mouse don't leave immediately, Selphie tries to tell them her story, because they haven't heard it a million times and they aren't the princess she's talking about and they don't look beyond her to other girls, other faces, other names, other places. The mouse stops her when her mouth opens, squeaking out in his small voice that he wants her own story, and Selphie tries to find the words. She doesn't know quite what her story is, anymore, but she knows how it begins.

&onceuponatime
.
.
.
.
.

(there was a little girl who played pretend

the end.)