Dedicated to pirate.chan because it was her birthday. Yay!

Disclaimer: No.

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Sunshine, glinting water, sandy sea shores, silver dollars. Lyrical, musical, beautiful, plentiful, Destiny Islands was the home of homes that was finally singing back to him upon his return.

He would be sure to listen this time, instead of taking for granted the swish of the palm leaves and cry of the gulls. This was true, this was life, this was sand warming the bares of his feet and salty spray brushing against his face by the wind, and he was calm for once. Lifting his arms above his head he exposed his palms to the golden sun and let some blessed pureness ease away the feel of sword and battle.

He was living in innocence for some blessed few days, and he was going to make the most of it. For once, he was going to be happy, because he didn't have to listen to his shoes shift and crunch across cobblestones and he didn't have to hear the shout of Donald and Goofy warning him that heartless were coming. His heartbeat would spike only because of happiness to be with her and him, rather than because of fear that he might fail and his job as hero would not be met.

Letting his arms fall with a swing, he tilted his head and laughed a little, eyes closed to the shine reflecting off the curves of the waves. No, now his only job, for some few joyful days, was the job he'd known before all of this had happened. He would be a son, a friend, and a teenaged boy, and the key would just be a nagging memory in the back of his mind, pushed back by thoughts of when dinner was and when exactly the sun would set so he could make the most of the day.

It was amazing, too, how easily he could shift back into the routine of "Sora, island boy," after so long being the Keyblade Master. Well, at least when he was alone, and the silence and quiet and beauty of a summery afternoon whispered into his ear and the warm rays of the sun bled onto his bare chest and shoeless feet. He hadn't really ventured away from where he stood, staring at the horizon, to meet up with old friends.

He hadn't really done anything at all.

No, he was just content to stand there now and shift weight at he drove his fingers through sun-bleached locks, the coarse texture brushing at his fingertips and the fabric of his gloves as he listened to the screech of the gulls again. He didn't much mind missing out on whatever fun the islanders had in store should he drag himself through the town into their awaiting hands. Even swimming through the tropical waters that kept undulating far below didn't appeal to himself so much as he just watched from afar, a distant figure admiring the fact that he was just there, just home, just okay and not spectacular. Spectacular had long ago become overrated anyway, since having a keyblade and governing the fate of the worlds was nothing short of something miraculous.

No, standing and staring and resting in quiet was enough for him, and he watched his world – and it sounded so nice to say that – with a smile on his face and a serene expression in his eyes. He didn't feel the anger battling in his chest, didn't feel the sadness tearing at his heart, and didn't feel the itch of his hand or the prickle of hairs on the nape of his neck that signaled the presence of danger. He felt calm, content, and satisfied, and that was enough.


Blinking back the film of tears in his eyes, which must have arisen as proof that this place between the swish of palm trees moved him with such happiness, he turned his head and allowed a gentle smile to settle on his lips. His eyes rested on the redhead as she concentrated her motions and eased herself around the rocks, body arched over one boulder as one hand rested beneath her and the other rested on a tree trunk, legs draping down onto the sand. Finally she pushed herself into a standing position, letting out a sigh and a smile as she brushed her hair behind one ear and flashed a smile in his direction. And then she blinked and blushed and turned her head, still heading in his direction.

"Put a shirt on, you dope," she murmured, stopping at his side at last and taking his hand anyway.

He looked down at himself, examining again only the swim trunks he'd not forgotten that he was wearing. He wriggled his toes in the sand. "I got bored of those clothes, though. I wear them all the time when I'm fighting." He shrugged then, tilting his head her way. "Besides, they're too heavy for this weather."

She sighed and shook her head, unable to prevent her smile. "Riku's getting irritated with Selphie. He sent me to tell you that he wants you to get your butt back to town, pronto, since Selphie won't let him out of her clutches or something," she said, knitted brows easing when she didn't have to concentrate on her message any longer.

Sora laughed, squeezing her hand easily. "What? Is she obsessed with him?"

"Not just him; the both of you. And Tidus is getting ticked, y'know," she said, nudging him with her arm, grinning. "He's pretty jealous."

"He's got nothing to worry about," Sora said with a shrug, concentrating fully on the horizon as he said so. He could feel his cheeks prickling somewhat from his words, but he was always embarrassed when it came to saying things romantic, even if it was said in the vaguest of ways.

He knew what he meant, and that flustered him most.

Sora somewhat felt Kairi slip her hand out of his grasp as he found himself getting pulled deeper and deeper into the mesmerizing spell of the ocean. But as his thoughts began to catch up to him, and he started drifting slowly away from the reality that was them, Kairi and he alone, a dream in itself, there was a gentle poke to his chest and he started, shifting his vision down a little so that he was staring into deep and dark blue.

"You," she said, and then blushed, momentarily dropping her eyes, bangs slipping into her vision, "need to get a shirt, first of all," she muttered. Then, recovering, she jerked her head up and smiled, a whole new expression from the stern one before on her features. "You want to spend time together?"

He blushed, eyes wide and expression incredulous. And she giggled and slipped her hands to take his, walking backwards as she gently led him with her, tripping slightly over her own feet as she laughed at herself and he soon joined right along with her. Somehow, along the way, she let go and began running, and he was chasing her in earnest, enjoying the game of sort they were caught up in. Beneath the sun and near the roar of the waves, they were two children again, friends and yet more as their laughter mingled and spiraled up towards the blue sky stretched over their heads. This was fun and this was exactly what he wanted, lost in the sand and the ocean spray and the sound of her voice imprinted in his memory.

He was home, and he wanted to be nowhere else.

She stumbled to a stop by the edge of the water, holding her stomach as she laughed and stayed out of the waves, but so used to running and running without need to stop he didn't control his feet in time and stumbled into her, sending them both into the shallow water. And they were laughing again, one of her arms around his neck as his face pressed into her damp hair, his own arm cradling her body close. His sides ached and the water seeped into his shorts and brushed against his legs, but he most felt his heart pounding in his ribcage and his face flushing with color as she trembled with laughter against him.

And when their laughter died down and they shifted only slightly, they were staring into each other's eyes, caught up in the moments they seldom ever had because they were always apart.

Her soaked hand reached up and smoothed the dampened bangs from his face, and then smiled gently as she pulled his face closer so that their noses touched. Arm tightening around her waist, he tilted his head and then gently claimed her lips, so that they were kissing in the waves with the gulls circling above and the childhood memories swirling around the place they sat.

And that key, that responsibility, those worlds, and those people were kept momentarily at bay as he was able to hold his princess without any interruptions. The ocean spray brushed against their faces, and the sun beat down from above, and they were together, in the place they loved the most, the threat of separation too impossible at the moment.

Peace may have been a fleeting thing, but they made it work while they were caught up in the waves and each other.

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Yeah. It could very well be corny, and an awful piece of literature, and you may well hate it. I dunno if I even like it that much, either. But please review, and if it's bad tell me why.

Happy belated birthday, pirate.chan!