For myxbeautifulxlove's challenge - Selphie x Tidus

Truthfully, this is kind of weird. Not like, "Dude, she's on something," weird. Because, for one, I'm not. And two, it was just kind of random. Like my first Selphie-centric fic. This could even be considered a prequel to it, but not necessarily so.

Disclaimer: No way, José...and other people. I do not own Kingdom Hearts.

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The sky was scattered with diamonds.

It had been too long since she'd seen the velvet ceiling so brilliant; she could remember so far back, where she was walking the beach many nights, the stars fading into the background, the darkness making her shiver. And yet now, as she twirled slightly, feet dancing in the sand, light was back above her, and hope was all around.

"Tidus!" she cried, laughing exuberantly, yellow dress fluttering at her calves. "Look at the sky! It's beautiful!"

And he rolled his eyes, crossed his arms, and mumbled a, "Yeah, yeah, I see 'em," because he wasn't romantic like that and was just so immature.

She didn't understand why Kairi would get such a sad light in her indigo eyes when she would complain to her about Tidus's difficult nature. She didn't understand why the redhead would then smile, tilt her head, and look off to the horizon for answers instead of her, Selphie, her best friend, saying in such a wounded, soft voice that Selphie, don't grow up too fast, all right? And just give him a chance, you won't regret it.

And Selphie would giggle and nudge her arm, teasing the girl that she sounded like her mother, and jeez, Kairi, lighten up. But the redhead was growing frustratingly mysterious, walking just to the edge of the beach with Selphie and with her hands clasped behind her back, steps careful, calculated, cautious, her eyes to the stars with an achingly painful look of longing on her features, her brow furrowed in frustration; and then, as if she could take it no longer, she turned about desperately, expression pained, whispers of "that boy" under her breath.

She didn't know her best friend anymore. Vaguely, she even wondered if maybe this was what being a fifteen-year-old meant, fretting over issues that seem unimportant and acting altogether absurdly peculiar. But something seemed wrong in the redhead's eyes, that Selphie could not ignore; Kairi looked like she was holding off tears. Only alone was she like this, too, because immediately a false smile slipped onto her features when she was with friends, she acting as if as long as she faked happiness no one would suspect anything was wrong.

Selphie was ashamed to admit that, to a point, it worked.

"You guys are cute," she'd insist when Selphie would smack Tidus impatiently when he'd interrupt her rambling and Tidus would then rub at his arm and stick his tongue out at her. "Don't ever change."

They would give her the strangest looks after that, soon exchanging glances and forgetting about their ill-tempered feelings toward each other as they asked unvoiced questions about Kairi's strange attitude. It was always about not changing and staying young and keeping hope with Kairi now, and they didn't know what to do, so they did nothing at all.

Instead, they spent nights like this together under the stars, remarking on the miraculous return of the heavenly lights as they laughed together, Kairi's words forgotten in their minds but preserved in their hearts.

"You're such a kid," Tidus laughed, coming up beside her and taking her hand, head tilted towards the ocean, a black, swirling abyss that looked alien beneath the haunting moon.

Squeezing his hand back, she giggled, resting her head on his shoulder. "Well how else am I supposed to act? Like Wakka? Please."

"Just because he's dedicated to blitzball…" Tidus huffed.

Giggling, she tripped backwards with light-footed movement, Tidus turning to watch her as an ocean breeze tousled her hair. "And certainly not like Kairi. She doesn't know what she's missing, seeing all of this---" and she twirled ecstatically, arms spread wide, grin tilting her lips upwards, "---for thoughts of maturity and some boy than no one can remember."

Tidus grinned devilishly. "Hey, I like Kairi. She balances out your insanity."

Pausing and stumbling over her feet, Selphie grinned back and then ran at him, the two toppling into the sand and rolling over each other as Tidus laughed and tickled her sides, fighting for freedom as she persistently wrapped her arms around his neck.

And they were just children under the expanse of the heavens, soaking in the bright starlight as they enjoyed the company of each other. Happiness was dominant. Hope was alive. All was as it should be.

Until Kairi disappeared the next day.

Devastated, Selphie searched the whole island, including the beach that the redhead had finally started going to again. She'd made so much progress, tilting her head to the sunset and smiling with softened eyes as Selphie stood beside her, speaking of a Sora person, whispering nonsense like it would all be right again and they'd see each other soon. They'd be a trio again, just like old times, Riku, Kairi, and Sora-whoever-he-was, back on the islands and laughing.

And sure, Selphie hadn't understood a word of it, but Kairi was happy again, was smiling again, was walking to the beach again. So she had just brushed it off, paying no mind, because she had her own trio to deal with and her feelings for Tidus were confusing her.

But then, when she'd run to her house after a grand epiphany struck her, that she wanted Tidus as her boyfriend because he was just so cute, no one answered, and Selphie was beyond puzzled.

Now she was struck with an oppressive worry, beside herself with fear for her best friend. How would she get through this? How would she deal with school? Who would she tell her secrets to?

And, beyond those selfish thoughts, was Kairi okay?

"Kairi's strong, Selphie," Tidus said, sitting himself down at the dock comfortably, arms behind his head, legs swinging easily. "She couldn't be friends with you if she wasn't."

"But…but she was emotionally unstable, Tidus! She was vulnerable! She imagined some boy up, saying that they used to be childhood friends and now he's out fighting! Fighting, Tidus! What if---?"

"The way I see it, you just gotta believe, or else hope is worthless. Didn't Kairi say that? That we should never lose hope?"

Selphie whimpered. "I miss her…"

"Just think of it as some big adventure she's on, lost in the stars. And, even if something bad has happened, Selph, Kairi will be okay. You know that. You're the hopeless romantic."

Desperately, Selphie grabbed his hand, curling her fingers around the tanned skin as she kicked her legs through the air, the adrenaline rushing through her veins as a result of concern. "Stay, Tidus, okay? Just for a little?" Because she couldn't be alone, not when her best friend had so suddenly left her and she was afraid that once night fell all the hope signified in those starry heavens would be gone, and it would just be darkness, suffocating her and swallowing her whole.

"Sure," he said cheerily, squeezing her hand back, because he liked her and she liked him and this was the beginning of something, no matter if their emotions were temporarily sidetracked. "And we can't change, remember? We're gonna be kids forever."

Through the tears that suddenly spotted her vision, Selphie smiled widely, letting her head rest again on his shoulder. He was so immature, and she was thankful for it, because she couldn't deal with reality right now, the reality that Kairi could be gone forever.

"Yeah. And we'll always watch this sunset, waiting for her to come back."

"It'll happen."

She laughed softly. "Yeah. It's just another one of Kairi's crazy adventures, with shadow monsters and keys that lock worlds. Nothing more."

As Tidus's head fell atop hers, Selphie was sure he was listening as she began to recite one of Kairi's farfetched tales, of a world where all who lost their homes went and of nightmares in black bodies with yellow eyes that hungered for hearts. She told of Riku, who was lost but would be coming home soon, this Sora-person would make sure of it, because he promised. And she found, because she was actually listening fully to these tales now, not waving them off as nothing because Kairi was temporarily lacking sense and she had to listen for support and support only, that her romantic heart was believing it all, because it was nothing but another daydream and it was where the redhead truly wanted to be.

Beyond the horizon, past the edges of their so-called world, Kairi was on her way to Riku – and her imaginary boy, if she so wished – and would be back as soon as possible, happy once more.

And for as long as it took, Selphie would resist growing up, with Tidus by her side and belief in the power of light in her heart.

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Okay, okay, so not much of a Selphidus, but no AU ideas were coming to be and, besides that, I really wanted to write canon. And jeez, this is my second in a row! Frankly, I'm startled. (AU-addict)

Nngh. So...yeah, this was...anyway. Please review.