Part VIII - Just Kids

"Why do you constantly wear this thing?" NausicaƤ asked in interest.

Blinking at the bright light that his hat had been protecting him from, Asbel sat up and rubbed at his eyes.

"What's to know? I just like it is all," he answered as his eyesight came back to him and he looked over at the bright-headed girl who was twisting his hat this way and that.

"It's just a hat."

"I don't get what you're trying to get at," Asbel said, holding down a laugh as she began spinning the hat on her index finger; she was studying it like it was a pollen sample.

He couldn't stop his grin from overtaking his face when she placed the hat onto her head, the flaps covering her ears while her short hair barely managed to poke out from the back. It seemed it was a little larger on her then on him (or she didn't have the top cushion of his mop of hair) as it hung in her eyes.

She seeemed to hum in contemplation, so he asked, "So? Like it?"

"I suppose it's not so bad," she said as she stood up and adjusted it so she could fully see; Asbel could fully see her light smile regardless of the hat.

But then she ran off without a second word, leaving the ex-prince to blink as he watched her getting further and further away in the green grass.

She turned around at the bottom of the hill and yelled, "Don't you want it back?"

"Of course!" he yelled back as he stood, cupping his hands to his mouth so his voice wouldn't be entirely blown away with the wind.

"Catch me then!"

His opened his mouth in shock as she took off again.

As he began pumping his legs, it was times like this where he realized that NausicaƤ was just a teenager like himself, not the serious woman she made herself to be when she had to rule the small valley. It made him glad, even as his lungs burned, how she could act her age around him and show her true self.

AN: I haven't written anything for this in over a year (like a bunch of my stories)...haha. It's funny cause I'm so sad. And sad in how bad this part is.