To Be Real

A lone blonde gazed up into the whimsically moonlit sky, her slender arms clasping her treasured sketchbook to her bosom as she briefly allowed herself the wonderful opportunity to let her mind run free. Night after night she would do this, always imagining that she was a princess instead of a prisoner and a real girl opposed to a nobody.

It wasn't that she was in denial of her fate there at Castle Oblivion – in fact, it was quite the opposite – yet somehow the pretending made it all hurt far less.

"Naminé?"

The said blonde jumped, her silken hair fanning out about her shoulders like a nimbus of honey as she rotated around in order to lock eyes with her unexpected caller. "Oh…hello, Riku" she greeted, sparing him the smallest hints of a smile as she clutched her sketchbook closer to her chest. She knew deep-down that she shouldn't call him by this name since he was a replica, yet she derived a great amount of pleasure from seeing how much he lit up when being addressed like an actual human being. It almost made her feel human, too.

Tentatively stepping forward so that he was now at her side, Replica cautiously ventured, "You've been standing out here on this balcony an awful lot lately…is there something wrong?"

Naminé sadly shook her head. "No, it's nothing like that…I've just been thinking quite a bit lately about our lives and where we stand. I mean, do you think we actually have a purpose, Riku?"

Replica was clearly taken aback by this sudden statement, yet he found that he could say nothing in return. They clearly had no purpose other than to serve the darkness as mindless drones, but he could never bring himself to tell Naminé that – he wouldn't. It was his sole duty to protect her from anything potentially harmful, so this was why he assumed he lied to her with his next words. And oh, what a beautiful lie it was, filled to the brim with whimsical possibilities and unspoken chances that left even Replica's non-existent heart aching.

The fib appeared to assuage Naminé's fears, for the grateful blonde looked up at him with her adoring eyes and actually laughed, the joyful noise ringing throughout the night air with the clarity of a thousand silver bells.

The hopeful sparkle within Naminé's brilliant azure irises made Replica's hollow center constrict painfully, his head lowering in order to mask the guilt in his eyes with the mask of his silvery-blue bangs.

Hell, if nobodies truly didn't have any hearts, why on earth was he feeling this way? What was it about Naminé that could bring him to his knees with only one of her bewitchingly fleeting glances?

Suddenly seeming to take notice of Replica's abrupt change of demeanor, Naminé glanced up at him with apparent worry written out across her dainty features. "Riku?" she ventured, her hand daring to leave the security of her sketchbook in order to touch his arm, "Are you feeling alright? You don't look so well…"

"Do you truly believe that we have no heart, Naminé?" Replica demanded, his aquamarine irises almost seeming to be pleading with her as he gently took her by the arms. "Do you honestly feel that we're incapable of having human emotions like love and hate?"

"Well, I-I don't exactly know" Naminé admitted, her eyes wide with wonder. "Where is all of this coming from, Riku? Did I say something earlier that upset you?"

Ignoring her incessant questioning, Replica instead allowed the roughness of his palm to encompass the svelte cream of her cheek, his voice surprisingly shy as he shakily confessed, "I-it just can't be true, Naminé, because when I'm with you I…I actually feel…um…" Here he couldn't finish, his cheeks turning a delicately soft ruddy hue as he audibly sighed. "I'm sorry" he apologized, "I really didn't mean to start talking nonsense like that, but I just-"

"No" Naminé suddenly interrupted, "I feel it, too."

Eyes wide, Replica anxiously watched on as the blonde shyly took his hand in hers and placed it where her heart would be if she owned one, the plush of her lips curving upward into a soft smile once she realized that what they were sharing had to be real.

She remembered reading somewhere that love was the strongest of human emotions, so surely somewhere along the line she and Replica had developed the ability to feel for one another what others did on a daily basis. Love, she realized, was what made her feel beautiful and safe from the harsh ugliness of the world – so much so, in fact, that Naminé wished that she could somehow thank Replica for always being there for her.

Her eyes softening with the warmth that she had only recently discovered, the blonde tenderly reached out and swept the silken hair from his eyes in order to search them for emotion – their true emotion. The longing that burned back at her had to be real, for it stirred something deep within her empty shell of a body that crested throughout her veins and thawed her out like the snow before springtime. Replica, she realized, was what made her who she was – who she wanted to be. With him by her side she could be whomever she wished, yet why couldn't she just tell him this? Was she actually feeling fear?

Just as Naminé made a move to step back from their embrace, Replica only succeeded in pulling her closer, his lips now at her ear as he questioned hopefully, "Do you mind if we stay like this a little while longer?"

Naminé wove her arms fondly about his waist in answer, the warmth of his breath and the titillating sensations coursing throughout her veins only further convincing her of the fact that at that very moment they were real. They were real people with real feelings and real hearts……they were in love.

A/N: Wow…my first KH fic. :) Hopefully it wasn't too blah, or crappy, or…well…boring. I've recently fallen in love with the whole Namiku pairing because it's so tragically beautiful – especially when it's Replica/Naminé. If you guys liked this enough, I suppose that I can attempt either more one-shots or a longer fic, but you have to tell me if you want more because I already have a lot of fan fics in the works. Yay for putting off real work to write fan fiction! XP Love you guys! PLEASE REVIEW!!!