Valentine's Day, it is not about the candy hearts and red roses, but about all the little ways to say I love you.


Kairi passed out little heart-shaped boxes of chocolates to her friends during a class Valentines Day party.

When she was done, she drew her brows in confusion to find one extra box sitting at the bottom of her bag.

After checking with Selphie and Penelo to make sure she had not forgotten anyone, they decided she must have accidentally bought one for Riku out of habit.

That did not explain why she brought it to class though…Riku had been in the year ahead of her.


Axel walked along a cold rooftop in The World That Never Was, wondering about the new plan that Xemnas had revealed to the remaining members of the group. He had not told any of them that he had repeatedly met the little silver-haired nuisance that had escaped them and defeated several members in the process. He was not going to either.

The boy reminded him of Roxas, not in personality or appearance, but in the sense that he made Axel feel…even though both had been told that was not possible. The teen was also prone to developing some interesting theories on Nobodies, hearts, bonds, and emotions, and Axel found that he just enjoyed talking with the kid.

The fiery Nobody pulled a small silver lighter out of his pocket. It had been waiting for him at one of the spots he usually went to when he wanted to disappear for a bit. Carved on one side was a heart, accompanied by twin flames… The other side also contained a carving, only this was a brief message in impossibly neat script for the small amount of space available…especially since he knew a slender hand that was accustomed to holding a larger blade had carved it.

Happy Hearts Day Axel

Your friend,

Riku

The redhead opened the hinged top and flicked the little switch that made a flame appear…he wondered why such a small flame suddenly made him feel all warm inside.


Roxas returned to his room after what had seemed like a rather pointless assignment. He really did not think that the small item he and Luxord had retrieved was worth the hundreds of Heartless he had to plough through to get to it.

His thoughts paused when he noticed two small, red, cardboard boxes on his bed, each shaped like a heart. One was covered in Axel's distinctive handwriting, which looked like it belonged on the cover of a gothic manga or heavy metal CD. He arched an eyebrow at the words, Happy Hearts Day Roxas, from your best friend Axel. Inside were several chocolates, filled with various liquors that burned when you ate them.

The writing on the other box was much smaller, with sweeping lines and an elegant flow to it, Happy Hearts Day Roxas, from Demyx. This box contained red and pink saltwater taffies.

The Nobody popped a chocolate into his mouth and decided to go hear whatever crazy theory was behind this one. Ever since Axel started taking those long walks he so enjoyed, he had been coming back with all kinds of ideas that would land him in big trouble if the superiors heard, and Demyx tended to soak them up like a sponge. The blonde wondered from where or whom his fiery friend was getting these ideas.

He vaguely recalled that the new feeling rising in him was jealousy, but then he pressed the thought down as he reminded himself that he had no feelings.


DiZ entered the room that contained Sora's sleeping chamber to check some of the equipment there, and raised a bemused eyebrow at the new additions to the usually all white chamber.

There was a piece of paper, folded into quarters with a bright red oil pastel drawing of a heart on it, and the words, Happy Valentine's Day Sora written in yellow, taped to the glass. Beside it was another piece of paper, cut into a heart and then drawn on with a plain pencil to make it appear that the heart was made a pair of folded wings. The words Happy Hearts Day Sora graced this one as it hung, taped beside the other 'card'. One more piece of paper had been left, with a pencil and a few oil pastel pencils, lying neatly on the read-out printer as though the adolescent and the Nobody had thought DiZ might want to make his own Valentine too.


The next year Kairi had just the right number of heart-shaped boxes, but she left Sora's at his desk quietly since he was a little busy giving Penelo the bracelet he had begged Kairi to help him pick out for the occasion.
Sora smiled as he slipped the thin silver cuff onto Penelo's wrist, glad that he guessed the right size after Kairi showed him the one his girlfriend had liked while the girls were out shopping the week before. The blonde turned her hand to grasp his and placed a strawberry flavoured kiss to his lips. He decided that Selphie's idea of giving flavoured lip-gloss to all of her friends instead of candy was brilliant after all.

The smile on his face and the slightly smaller hand in his both remained in place for the remainder of the day.


Zack led Aerith into the backyard with his hands over her eyes, after making her promise that they were closed anyway. He turned his wife (he still loved being able to call her that, even in his own mind) to face the door they had just exited before allowing her too look.

There were two new rose bushes planted on either side of the door they had just passed through and band-aids on the ex-SODLIER's fingers.

That did not stop him from pulling her closer when she smiled and kissed him.


Rude entered the kitchen early to find Tifa already cooking at the stove and Denzel setting the table with a grin on his face as he tried to talk her into a name he liked for his future little brother or sister. The bald man messed the boy's hair, then wrapped an arm around the woman's waist, and kissed her cheek as he handed her a small velvet box. She smiled broadly and kissed him thoroughly before letting him slip the ring onto her finger and then handing him a platter of heart-shaped waffles to set on the table.

He noted with a grin the way the new ring sparkled on her finger as she ate and gestured while she spoke.

However, he thought that her smile sparkled even more than the diamond.


Quistis laughed when she opened her door to see Zell grinning on her doorstep with a large stuffed Moogle whose Pom had been fashioned into a heart and whose little stuffed hands were stitched together to hold a small box of chocolates.

He chuckled when she invited him in and handed him a card with a sheet of Valentine themed temporary tattoos.

They only snickered more at the strange looks he received due to the extra tattoos on his skin when they went out for lunch at a nicer restaurant then they usually frequented.


Leon actually smiled when he entered his kitchen to see a homemade card on the table that read Happy Hearts Day Squall in Riku's handwriting over an impressive sketch of two intertwined hearts. He did not even mind Yuffie covered in four and running out the back door as though her life depended on it, or Enkeli playing with a heart-shaped squeak toy non-stop. Steel blue eyes were set on Riku, who bit his lip before commenting that Squall was home early while he set the last red velvet cupcakes on the little stand he had placed next to the handmade card.

Normally he might have been annoyed about the mess that Yuffie had made in their kitchen, but he could not complain about any situation that left Riku covered in strawberry frosting and tiny candy hearts.

The scarred man sat the card he had purchased for his young lover on the table next to his and then pulled the candy coated adolescent to him, ignoring the frosting that smeared on him as he held and kissed the boy.


Cid grumbled as he rejected yet another card from the shop, wondering not for the first time why they had to make them all so damn sappy. He wondered why one could not just say Happy Valentine's Day, or better yet, Thanks for putting up with me all these years. He thought that perhaps he should have taken Jailbait up on his offer to make one for him. Oh well, there was an idea for next year.

In the meantime, the Gummi mechanic left the shop carrying a small red box made of firm cardboard. It was rectangular, not heart-shaped, with no fancy lettering on it or words of endearment, but it contained a pound of Shera's favourite liquorice snaps.

She would appreciate that more then a sappy card anyway…there was one of the many reasons they had married in the first place.


Cloud rolled his eyes as they were bombarded with reds and pinks while he walked through the market district. He usually found this holiday quite irritating…not because he rarely had anyone to share it with, as his friends suspected, but because everything was so overdone. He did not think that three foot wide, heart-shaped balloons; giant pink and white teddy bears with their arms spread and the words I love you this much written on their stomachs; or cards that crammed in thirty lines of poetry on the wonders of love, were truly befitting of anyone. The whole idea seemed to be to encourage one to be as sappy as they could for one day to prove that they cared about someone who really should know it already if that were the case.

He used the back door to get to his apartment over Tifa's tavern, not wanting to deal with its patrons, who were no doubt getting emotional over loved ones or whining about having no one to with for the holiday. His musings ceased when he saw a little bag of candy hearts on his bed along with a small note. Instead of the usual I LOVE YOU or HUGS AND KISSES, the candies were stamped with personalised messages that were generally blunt, funny, and even crude in some cases. The note looked like a blank white business card that someone had simply used to make a quick note. Yo Cloud, Happy V-day -Reno

The blonde smirked before turning and heading back out to the market district while popping a few candies into his mouth.


Riku padded into the kitchen with a towel around his shoulders and his hair still dripping from the shower, with intensions to feed Enkeli. Once he had, he picked up the two classroom-like valentines cards that Yuffie had dropped off earlier for him and Squall (before she insisted on staying to help him make the cupcakes) and set them on the table beside the cards they had given each other. He froze when he noticed an additional item on the table as well.

A slender hand slowly picked up a small silver lighter with a flaming heart embossed on the side. He discovered a safety latch that prevented the lighter from accidentally opening as well as another safety to prevent it from lighting unless intended to.

The teen smiled softly when he remembered that he had only ever confirmed his fear of fire to one person…who had ironically been somewhat of a pyromaniac and supposedly had no heart or feelings.

He picked up two cupcakes before returning to Leon in the bedroom while pondering if hearts would ever cease to amaze him.


Kairi smiled as she gathered the few bottles her friends in Twilight Town had sent with valentines for her and Sora. She doubted that King Mickey had expected them to use the information he had given them on passing messages for such casual purposes, but how else were they supposed to keep in touch? Not everyone had Riku's ability to just sit down and build a device that could break all laws of nature and allow cross-world communication.

She shrugged off the thought and threw her own bottle of valentines out into the sea. Then she opened the bottles she had received, read her valentines, and set Sora's aside since he was still with Penelo. The auburn-haired girl was glad for his absence when she felt herself blushing after she read the valentine Hayner sent her; Happy Valentine's Day to the prettiest girl to ever come out of the blue.


Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy each smiled as they settled into their reserved box at the opera house. One of Daisy's best friends, Clara Cluck, had finally landed the role she had been trying for in this season's opera.

The king smiled as he settles his hand atop of one of Minnie's (the other was still holding the flowers he had given her before they arrived) while they pointed out the various cupids and other Valentine's Day decorations that graced the grand but warm and inviting opera house.

He noted all the other couples and friends they were filling the seats below as Minnie turned her hand to hold his, then he smiled.

This was what made the worlds worth saving every time.

Fin