knight in shining armor

Most people at some time have played the game we used to call "Knights and Princesses", right? You know the story; a knight (sometimes multiple knights and/or noble steeds) went to save the captive princess (again, sometimes there were several, or at least an old nursemaid) from the clutches of either an evil witch or a greedy dragon. Our version wasn't very different from any other, but we had a few slight differences.

There were always two knights, twins, both very powerful. One of them was played by Tidus, while Riku and Sora traditionally took turns on the other one (sometimes resulting in a fight). Of course, each had to have a princess to rescue. These were Selphie and me. We'd place ourselves on a tall branch or run deep into the ocean so that they couldn't get to us, while Wakka and either Riku or Sora guarded us. And of course they fought over who got to be the dragon, because who wants to be an evil witch?

Whenever there was a fight, Sora almost always lost, which resulted in me getting rescued by Riku a lot. Sora would refuse to speak to Riku (who thought this a blessing) until I made them become friends again. Kairi, the princess and peacemaker.

And we all kind of figured, when we were that young, that our lives would turn out the same. When we were older, Riku and Sora would still fight and the elder would win. I would break up their differences. Selphie would always be so absolutely hyper, and we'd put up with it. Tidus would be competitive and nobody would challenge him. And Wakka would still look out for us, just like always.

Of course, most of all, we assumed that we would always be together.

This all changed, of course, when Riku came up with the idea for the raft. Tidus, Selphie, and Wakka were left out of something; they felt abandoned. I understood that, but I couldn't leave Sora and Riku – what would they do without me?

And then the Heartless came, and our childhoods were snatched away forever. I became, just as I always was in our fairy-tale universe, a helpless princess, a captive. I still don't know what happened to the other three during that time. But if they had been there, they would have expected Riku to save me.

Just like when we were kids, they both tried to save me. If only they could have worked together, we would have all been back home so much quicker, but there was one major difference. In his haste to escape the island, Riku had gained a slight amount of darkness. But Sora...Sora was still looking for his light.

And that's why it was Sora who ended up saving me, though that didn't make me like Riku any less. He had saved Sora before; it was just that Sora, the very unexpected hero, got the glory. He had defeated Xehanort's Heartless and brought back my heart. Because my heart had chosen my hero. In the brief second that Riku went to darkness, it fled to Sora.

But now, as I stand here, reunited with my friends again, recalling all the times they've saved me (and the times that I've saved them), it occurs to me that they both won. Even though their methods were different, in the end we defeated the darkness and we're back home.

They're both knights in shining me.