The waves crashed gently against the beach as I approached him, who was sleeping soundly and clearly unaware that I was a threat. I smiled silently to myself and stepped up to him, hoping my footsteps wouldn't wake him—and they didn't. Sora's a pretty sound sleeper. So I leaned over quite casually, adjusting my hair a bit, and watched him sleep.

It only took a few moments to take effect. He gradually seemed to sense someone was watching him and woke up, but completely missed me at first, sitting up and yawning obliviously. I was a little too surprised to do anything, except of course control any giggles that might escape and continue watching him. When he returned to his former position, his eyes widened. "Gah!" he cried out in alarm, shooting upward suddenly as if attacked by a rabid dog—or perhaps a fangirl, knowing Sora.

I laughed at him then. "Just me, silly."

"Y-you scared me," he said, rubbing his eyes a little and blinking when he got sand in one of them. "Why do you always have to do that? You've got scary eyes."

"Scary," I repeated, pouting. "That's not nice, Sora." I passed him by and went to watch the waves, tracing the horizon with my eyes. Hmm…maybe we could draw it together later, in the Secret Place.

"So, hey," he said a bit awkwardly, and I didn't need to turn around to know he was scratching his head nervously. "What was your hometown like again?"

That certainly came out of the blue. "I told you," I said, shrugging. "I don't remember. I left that place when I was a baby." I turned to smile at him. "Don't you remember that much?"

"I don't remember much, either," he said. "The little kid stuff. It's starting to go away, you know? I guess that's part of growing up." He shrugged and stood up. "Anyway, maybe we can go off and find your hometown sometime. You know how much Riku and I want to go off exploring."

"Can't go leaving him behind," I said a bit wistfully, looking out at the sea. Finishing the raft seemed so far away…

"Talking about me behind my back, are you?" came his voice from behind us, and I couldn't suppress a smile. "Keep it up and I won't play nice," he added, and I knew this comment was directed at me.

Play along now, I thought, turning. "Silly, you know we wouldn't leave you behind," I told him.

"Probably be a better idea to leave Sora here behind," he remarked, tossing a log into Sora's gut and knocking the wind out of him. "All he ever does is slack off."

"Untrue!" Sora retorted hotly from the ground, knocked there from the blow. He jabbed a thumb at me. "Namine's just as bad!"

"He's right, unfortunately," I admitted.

"Well, it'd suck just a bit if I had to pilot the thing on my own," Riku pointed out, flopping down next to Sora.

"Then we'll just have to race…back…to…" I stopped short, putting a hand to my head and wavering on my feet as the shockwave ricocheted through me.

"Namine? Is something wrong?" Sora asked, getting to his feet.

Riku was much faster, at my side in a moment. "Namine," he said quietly. "What is it?"

"I…" I tried to say, but it was no good. I slipped out of his arms, falling backward…falling…

What are you doing?


What are you doing to my memories? What are you changing? Why are you changing me?!

"Sora, please…!"

Stop it! Stop! Get out of my head! STOP IT!

My notepad and pencils hit the floor with a dull clatter, and I followed on my hands and knees a moment later. "I lost him," I murmured. Marluxia wouldn't be pleased…but these things take time.

In the meantime, I had to regain my composure. I was breathing hard, and if I had a heartbeat, it would've been pounding in my ears. But…that didn't matter. The fact that I wasn't really a person didn't matter. Those memories…I have to change them back to the way they were before Kairi ever came into their lives.

There it was again—the lie I told myself. It was an excuse to ruin them, an excuse to intercede and replace her with myself, regardless of whether or not my very existence (or lack thereof) depended upon it. But even so…

"They're not REAL!" I almost screamed, tearing a page out of the notepad in a sudden fury. "They're not real, and they don't matter, just like me! I'm not real!" Tears threatened to course down my cheeks, and I closed my eyes against them, feeling one of them slip past my defenses and hit the torn page. It smudged Sora's hair, rolled down his cheek instead.

The next page had a picture of myself with him, sitting with him on the paopu tree next to Riku. I felt sick. "They're not mine," I whispered. "They're not mine, they're his memories—his memories of HER! And I had no right to take them!"

Suddenly I was tearing, tearing in a mad, blind panic. Pictures that I had worked on, some that had taken minutes, some ages—both kinds flew every which way, kin to one another as torn up garbage and crumpled nothing. "They're HERS! They're all HERS! They're all broken and stupid and fake!" I managed between broken sobs, tears flecking the splintered pages. "And none of it matters, because none of it ever happened! It means nothing! It IS nothing! IT'S NOT REAL!"

I must've calmed down then, as scattered papers found their way to the floor like torn wings. My sobs drowned in one another and eventually died out, replaced by the eternal calm that possesses a Nobody. Wherever the outburst had come from—and HOW I had managed to keep it up for so long, I had no idea…but…

"But…I was happy…"

Why was I saying that? I was a Nobody—happiness was impossible. Feelings of any kind were impossible. Even the way I said it sounded dead and emotionless. Was…was that even me saying that?

"I was so happy…for the first time…"

I was crying again, soft, silent tears that trickled into my hands—unlike the fiercely bleeding ones from earlier. "Sora," I murmured, looking at the notepad, where the last drawing—my first one—was still there, and he shot me a big, commercial-sized grin. "Sora, will you ever understand? Can you…can you ever…"

My hands found their way to the pad and drew it toward me. I ran my fingers delicately over the hair that wasn't real, appreciated the grin that wasn't real, looked into the eyes that weren't real.

"Can you ever forgive me, Sora?"


Author's Note: OMGWHUT?! Whadd'ya mean, Chronos, you haven't updated Farting Around? LYKE OMG NO! No, I haven't, and it's because I'm still waiting on the creative juices to get going. Sorry! But I just figured I'd upload this, since I wrote it a while back and have been meaning to. I think it's total crap and needs a rewrite like a fish needs water, but I dunno that the idea's good enough to pursue. We've probably got enough angsty Namine-centric fics on here as it is, lol.