Dedicated to lunamaria.

Yay, Courtney! I finally, finally got a fic for you. Took me a while, and it's not really how I intended it (I was shooting for romance, really I was), but it has Roxas x Olette (or one-sided, at least), a pairing I haven't written in a while, so I hope you like it!

Disclaimer: Nah.

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Practicality was of great importance, in her opinion.

No, she would never criticize her friends for dreaming. She admired the looks on their faces when they grew passionate about something, each reacting in their own way to what it was that tantalized their thoughts. There was Pence, ever the hopelessly amusing one of the four who cherished the trivial things, and she would always cover her mouth to hide her giggle when he would stare off into a pace with a contented smile, voicing aloud how he could really go for a sea-salt ice cream, you guys in? There was Hayner, their ever excitable and ever temperamental ringleader, who would roll his eyes at such foolishness and then laugh it off, strolling the expanse of the usual spot as he proclaimed that this was the day they were going to wipe that smirk off of Seifer's face, he could feel it. And then there was Roxas, who, though so quiet and thoughtful that he hardly made a sound, seemed to capture her attention most for some inexplicable reason, the blond boy who would just casually lean back, chuckling softly as he lifted his eyes to the ceiling and kept his dreams unvoiced, brow furrowing every so often as if he felt he was forgetting something.

They were all so full of life and hopes, and she was happy to call them friends, because they kept her smiling and giggling and she wouldn't trade the moments they shared together for the world.

But, being the voice of reason, she had to point out that dreaming was only good up to a point. Idealism would get them nowhere, not when they were so adamant about hating school and ignoring their independent studies.

Pence would whine, Hayner would complain, and Roxas would just stare at her passively, a wince fading from his features as he was no doubt lost in his thoughts still. And, with every time this came to pass, their ritual of dreaming and working, dreaming and working passing in an organized circle, she found herself staring longer and harder into those blue eyes, noticing one thing that the laughing Pence and proud Hayner failed to see.

Roxas's beautiful, sky-blue eyes were growing more distant.

They were losing him.

It was where practicality failed her in the end. No amount of forcing him to tag along and work with them could revert him back to the days when he would laugh without hesitation, even if Hayner made a gibe at him or Pence accidentally patted him on the back too hard, causing Roxas to fall. No, Roxas was disappearing from their lives, literally and figuratively, chasing demons that were silver and slippery and moved as if they had no bones in their bodies.

And she was scared for him, scared for all of them, because what if Roxas was the thread that kept their friendship tapestry held together? What if all of his pulling away was tugging at the seams, so that if he strayed too far he would break free and all would unravel, leaving Olette with her practicality but nothing to show for it because all would be lost?

She was terrified. As irrational as it was, because there was no reason for them not to remain friends forever, no matter what Hayner said, she was beside herself with worry that Roxas would just disappear like smoke in the wind, there to just slip through her fingers entirely without Olette even knowing how much she cared for him.

How deep did her feelings run, anyway, for this honey-haired, blue-eyed boy?

Whenever he was running through town, past Hayner farther up near Station Heights, along the winding pathway in the Tram Common, Olette would push curling strands of hair from her eyes, watching the grim line of his lips and spark of responsibility shimmering in his concentrated gaze. He disappeared so quickly, always just out of reach when she decided she wanted to call after him, leaving her lost, confused, and slightly puzzled at the feeling of emptiness that ached more painfully within her chest at every beat of her heart. Something about the way Roxas was acting now, asking about girls in white and invisible trains and cloaked thieves, all born from his surprisingly wild imagination, had her scuffing her foot along the cobblestones and setting her mouth in a sad pout, wishing that he would just stop his frenzied pace for a moment and laugh with her, arching his head back to tell her what he saw in the clouds.

He always won, anyway, saying he saw impressively-detailed keys and walls of flames and keyholes that stood stark against the sky, just waiting to be unlocked.

She wanted to know what Roxas dreamed about when his mouth would curl like that, his eyes flickering as he seemed to go beyond his body for a few seconds, only to come crashing back to reality with no memory to what he'd been thinking when she would ask.

Something about the softness of that smile made her heart pang with jealousy, though, Olette wondering what that something was that made him look so serene and blissfully happy.

What was locked and barred in Roxas's memories, that even he couldn't seem to figure out?

Sighing, walking down the cobblestone incline from the train station to make her way to the common once more, Olette lifted her head as the breeze rushed at her back, tendrils of hair falling into her eyes and obstructing her vision as she had to stop, bringing her hand to her temple to impatiently brush her locks away. And then, as she was standing there, green eyes focused ahead with an annoyed light as she fought with the hair that impeded her sight, she saw Roxas, just playing around on his skateboard, doing tricks in the air and flipping with the skill of those sword-fighters she would read about in books. He looked so agilely acrobatic, his grace unlike that she'd ever seen of him before. It was as if Roxas belonged suspended in the air, defying gravity in a way his hair had already achieved.

Smiling softly, she watched him, wind picking up in strength as her sleeves ruffled on her arms and the back of her shirt rippled loudly. And as he flipped again, flying off of the railing and into the air, her vision failed her for a minute, Olette catching sight of a boy with eyes like Roxas and hair like Roxas, except that he was clad in a dark cloak and wielded two blades that perfectly fit his grip.

She gasped out loud when the wind stopped and Roxas lost control, feet slipping on his skateboard by a fraction. The boy fell to the ground, landing on his arm as the board clattered loudly, breaking the spell further, and Olette ran to him, crying out his name desperately, her fear so much greater than what it should've been.

He was just scratched. He was just scratched. It was a small tumble, and he'd landed wrong on his arm, that was all.

But as she knelt beside him, fisting his shirt in her shaking hands as he rolled over and looked up, blinking in surprise as she bowed her head to hold back her tears, she couldn't deny the terror in her heart as she rested at his side. What had she just seen? Was she going crazy?

Maybe she was spending too much time with the three boys, her mind, as consequence, idling on foolish daydreams and hallucinations.

Grunting, Roxas hefted himself up on his elbows, tilting his head curiously as he arched his brow calmly. It took a while for her to sense his stare, the sensation registering when the silence between them became tangible, and when she looked over at him a soft smile slipped onto his lips, Roxas inclining his head further as he commented that she looked like she'd seen a ghost.

"Roxas…" Olette sighed, releasing his shirt quickly as her hands hovered in the air, fingers slightly curled, actions hesitant. And then, as he sat up fully, rubbing at his elbow with a slight laugh as he shook his head and commented on what a stupid move that had been, Olette threw her arms around his neck, shaking her head briskly as he stiffened, asking in a panicked tone what was wrong.

"Don't do that again!" she scolded, tone hysterical, mind reeling. "Don't disappear from me like that again, Roxas, I mean it!"

He was silent for a long time, her stuttering breaths breaking the silence as her body was wracked with quiet sobs, her eyes without tears. A violent tremor was shaking her limbs, and she felt petrified, scared that, for once, no reason could explain what was going on and her practicality could be damned because it was going to do her nothing.

Finally, shifting under her embrace and patting her back awkwardly, Roxas smiled against her ear. "Okay, Olette. I won't fall next time," he offered, assuming that was what she meant.

Expression falling, his words bringing her no comfort, Olette sighed dejectedly, wishing for more from him but not knowing exactly what it was she wanted. So she pulled back, falling onto her heels as she rested her hands on her knees, and tilted her head with a falsely cheery smile, lips forming the words "thank you" but heart not feeling so grateful.

Roxas ruffled her hair playfully, laughing softly as he rose to his feet, and then cast a passive expression towards his skateboard, mouth twitching downwards as his only display of regret. He turned and waved, too, hand flicking cheerfully in the air as he called goodbye and ran on towards a new destination, no doubt to be side-tracked soon by whatever those silvery bodies were that were so interested in him.

Smoothing at her khaki capris, eyes closing as her evergreen orbs welled up, she found herself wishing Roxas would be open with his feelings for just once; she wanted him to be able to show his emotions, to show that he had a heart, instead of him just being so withdrawn and overly cautious.

She didn't know why this was so. Her heart just ached for closure, for him to look upon her the way she knew she looked upon him. There was nothing practical about it. It was just her dream, the thing that kept her wishing when the group was uncharacteristically silent.

She wanted more from him.

Getting to her feet, brushing off the dust that had collected on her knees and shins, Olette straightened, catching the eternal sunset glint off of the houses and glow in the distance. Something was going to happen, she could feel it deep inside, and her heart twisted, gut wrenching with fear. They really weren't going to be together forever, as much as the optimistic side of her had persuaded her into believing. After all, when it came down to it, she was always practical.

So she knew that dreams and happiness couldn't last forever.

And dreams…well, they hardly ever came true.

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Okay, all done. I kind of liked it, because I enjoyed putting some of the future components of the game into an earlier part of the game. And I hope you like it, as well. Please review and tell me what you think!