For RoseZephyr's challenge.
(Ah, sorry for the wait, RoseZephyr!)
Okay, my first Selphie-centric fic. Ever. So, my apologies if it is utterly horrible and unbearably OOC. And, if it is, apparently practice makes perfect, as people like to say, so I'll be practicing a hell of a lot to try to fix that. Hope you like it, nonetheless!
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This was what it came down to. Every day, every sunset, she made an excuse as to why she was at his doorstep, and then she grabbed his wrist and stubbornly dragged him to the beach, hushing his protests as she neared the dock. And it had to be that dock, she'd always insist, no matter how much he complained that it was out of their way and he really didn't want to do this again, Selphie. And then he'd ask her why this was so important, ask her why she had to do this every day with such a firm resolve and a purpose in her eyes, but she'd just shrug her shoulders and sit at the edge of the dock, swinging her feet as she'd stare a moment out to sea and then look up at him with an innocent expression.
"I don't know," she'd always answer. "It just feels right."
And he'd sigh and shift his feet, whine her name once, and then shuffle closer until his toes were curling over the edge of the dock and he was staring at the dying sky and the darkening horizon. They'd be speechless, without the words to express what it was they were feeling, what it was they both felt was missing in the eeriness of the moment, and so they'd just watch as another promise seemed to fade to dust.
This day, this sunset, and this horizon was no different, either. She sat there, swinging her legs idly as her yellow sundress fluttered in the wind, brown bangs falling into her eyes as she just watched for something she didn't know anything about.
"You know," Selphie found herself saying, laughing slightly as she lowered her eyes from the horizon to the sea swelling beneath her. "I don't think…well, it feels like it wasn't supposed to turn out like this, you know? This growing up and going off into high school? It doesn't seem right that something is holding us back."
Sighing, Selphie drew her legs close and rested her knees against her chest, encircling her arms around her shins and resting her chin atop the yellow fabric of her dress covering her legs. Lip twitching, she gave a small, sad smile again, eyes softening as she took in the blues and purples and reds and yellows of the sky. It all seemed so familiar. What was it? What was calling her?
"Y'know, Wakka says we're just waiting on a dream," Tidus said suddenly, shifting his feet. She turned her head, peripheral vision still catching much of the scenery but more of her attention on the troubled blond beside her. "He says we should think about giving up childhood and just accept the fact that we can't be kids forever."
"Wakka would know best, wouldn't he?" she said with a sigh, twiddling her thumbs against her shins as she closed her eyes once, wishing her subconscious could form in her mind that which her heart was waiting on. But all she had was shadows and colors and the feeling of tenderness, as if this…dream she seemed so familiar with was a good thing that had happened to her once.
"Selphie, maybe we should stop looking."
"They're not giving up," she said quietly, and her eyes fell back on the horizon.
"Why are you so convinced that it's a they, huh? For all we know, it's nothing at all! Maybe it's just the moment, just the sunset affecting our judgment. People get caught up in nature every day, and always insist it's something bigger than what it really is!"
She giggled despite his anger, wriggling her toes as she lowered her gaze back to the water. "You're not much of a spiritual guy, huh, Tidus?"
He sighed and shrugged, and with a rustle of clothing he was sitting beside her, one knee propped up and his arm slung over it as he glanced over at her. "It's all romantics, Selphie. It's just a dream. Just like everything else you're caught up in."
"It's okay to dream once in a while," she said cheerfully, turning her attention to grin at him.
His lip twitched, and he was almost smiling, but then he looked away, eyes downcast. "All the time is just too much. You're trying to get out of growing up, Selphie; it's why you're so caught up in this lie."
"It's not a lie. You feel it, too, Tidus. You do."
"I don't know anymore, Selph. Maybe it's just what I want to feel."
"Liar," she whispered, bowing her head on her arms and dropping her eyes to the planks resting between them, creating a barrier of space that seemed to stretch into infinity.
He was leaving her, too. He was growing up, and soon he'd be just like Wakka, laughing in the hallways over sports and fawning and drooling over the cheerleaders or the exceptionally pretty girls strolling through the hallways and acting as if they owned everything that they touched. Once upon a times and spars in the sand and blitzball games would be no more, cast aside into the shadows because dreaming was nothing but a desperate thing to them.
He was leaving her, just like shadows and colors and feelings had left and gone to that horizon. Whoever they were, they'd taken hope and happiness and fantasies with them, and Destiny Islands was maturing, turning into an alien place. And she was afraid.
"Tidus?" she whispered softly, talking into her knees as she drew her legs closer for comfort. Her eyes flicked to the horizon, deepening in color, swallowing the sunlight as yet another day died and more distance was born.
She felt lonely again. She wished she could laugh again.
He looked over at her, and even though she wasn't looking back she could practically see the concern in his expression. No matter how cool or tough he tried to appear, he was always so softhearted and sincere. It reminded her of something, or maybe more than one something, but before she could think it through thoughts of it vanished it her mind and she buried her head more in her knees, feeling frustrated.
"Tidus, don't grow up on me."
"Growing up is important, Selphie. You learn more from it."
"You hurt more from it, too," she insisted, looking up with tears in her eyes. Oh God, how she wanted to laugh now, instead of seeing that wide-eyed stare of his and feeling as if she wasn't herself. But missing them, it, whatever, was holding off her regular cheer, and she was going out of her mind with sadness. "I don't want you to change, Tidus."
He sighed, shaking his head once, and then looked ahead, nudging her with his shoulder playfully. She laughed once at the simple gesture, bringing the back of her hand near her eyes to rid herself of the tears, and then she was smiling a little more brightly as he just let his shoulders fall, rid himself of tension, and grinned that childish grin that never ceased to cheer her arm.
Sitting straighter, she let her legs fall over the edge of the dock again and clasped her hands, all the while letting herself rest against his frame. He made her so happy so easily.
"I wonder who's waiting out there for us, though."
"Maybe they're not waiting at all, Selphie? Ever think of that?"
"Fine. Fighting for us, then. I wonder who's fighting for us."
"You just…don't get it," he murmured softly, grinning weakly, and she looked over at him innocently as he stared ahead, blond hair tossed and ruffled by the ocean breeze. He looked so calm, so peaceful, and so mature sitting next to her, and she could feel the rift between them become more prominent. He was growing up; he was growing away.
"I get it, Tidus," she said cheerfully enough, though her eyes dropped back to her lap. "You think hope is a child's game."
"No, I think you've just dragged on this fairytale long enough, Selphie." He sighed and looked over at her sadly, but she stubbornly looked away, chin rising. "Look, just…stop thinking that knights and princesses lay beyond this world, Selph. This is all we've got. And we've got to make the most of it." Sighing, he drew his legs over the ledge and stood, stretching his taught muscles and reaching his arms over his head. "Save dreams for when you sleep; you get too caught in the romantics when you're awake."
"I can be just as good a person if I choose not to mature, Tidus," she tried playfully, glancing up as she swung her legs and smiled brightly.
He ran his hand through his hair, shaking his head. "It gets old, Selph. You can't avoid adulthood forever. So just grow up." Shrugging, he turned on his heel, letting his hand fall so that it became a half-hearted wave. "I'm going home. And stop dragging me back here, Selphie. I have homework, you know."
Turning her head back to the horizon she sighed, refusing to watch him go. She hadn't thought she'd lose him so quickly. She thought she'd have more time to spend with him. She'd even foolishly thought that he'd want to continue this kind of youthful nonexistence with her.
Sighing, she tilted her head and smiled wistfully, brunette hair bouncing slightly as she swung her legs. Hope was out there, she knew it. And whoever it was that had forced her to the sidelines, whoever it was that had forced her to be incapable of anything besides waiting and watching, she just hoped that they were safe and that they were all right, and that she'd maybe meet them in the future.
And, for the moment, she just hoped that they had a wonderful adventure.
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Eh. It's bearable, maybe. I dunno. Please review!