A/N: So I wanted to do something really epic seeing as this is MY 50TH FIC and all, and I had a few ideas for some really epic sokai love stories...and then the plot bunnies attacked with about six ideas that, while less epicly romantic, were still pretty awesome and were coming a lot quicker than the sokais I wanted to write. So. Here we are. Something a little different. Something like it has probably been done before, I suppose. Let me know what y'all think.

FYI: Sora means sky, Kairi means sea, and Riku means earth.

Folklore

Once upon a time, when the world was young, there lived in happiness the sky, the sea, and the earth, and these three were the very dearest of friends.

The sky and the earth were best friends, and like all friends, fiercely competitive. They would race and fight, always trying to out-do one another, all the while being watched by the sea. But if there was one thing they fought over most of all it was the sea. For she was beautiful and wonderful and they both dreamed of capturing the heart of the elusive and captivating sea.

So the earth swelled into mountains and raised up plants and trees and flowers for her, and the sky glowed blue and twisted the clouds into to elegant forms for her, and painted himself oranges and reds and purples and pinks at sunset for her. So the earth, seeing how the sea would recede from the shore and raise her waves up towards the sky, covered himself with green grass and white sands. But then the sky twinkled stars down at sea at night.

And the sea seemed to watch the sky, the earth thought. But they were young still, for so was the world. And how small was their world; so small that the earth felt restricted. He was naught but an island, and the sea, with her expanse, her reach, made him wish to see a world where he could spread his land across vast spaces.

This he told to the sky and the sea, and they decided to expand beyond their small, young world. But the sky and the sea did not share this desire as greatly as the earth did. It began to consume him, and he started to let the trees and flowers he has sprouted to wilt. The sky and the earth were good friends, but they were on two different planes, and the sky could not see that the earth had changed. But the sea was transcendent, bridging the gap between them for she could reach both the shore and the horizon and she could see how the earth was crumbling, and it scared her. So she ran to the sky, and asked him to come with her, to run from the earth beforeā€¦

Before what? She didn't know. But the sea was wise, and she knew the earth was not the quite the earth anymore.

And the earth did fall. He wanted more than their young world, and so he pushed at the boundaries of their young small world until he made a hole, in through which slipped the darkness.

But the earth was brave, and ambitious, and foolish, and he became magma and poured himself into the darkness. But he did not know what he had done. The darkness flooded the world, and the first thing it saw was the beautiful sea. She was so pure that it swallowed her up, while the sky helplessly watched. The waves grew calm, and the surface of the water grew still.

And so ended the friendship between the earth and the sky. For the blame lay with the earth, who sought the help of the dark side of the moon to restore the sea. But the sky, who had not poured himself into the darkness, expanded to the sun, from whom he sought strength to save his lost friend.

And all the while the sea slept, waiting to be reawakened.

But while she slept, the Great War between the sky and the earth began. The earth would thrust up volcanoes to spew fire into the sky, and the sky would send strong winds to batter the earth. The battle between the former friends became so devastating that it disturbed even the slumbering sea. Like a ghost, she sent ripples across the surface of her waters, and the warring sky and earth halted their battle to watch and listen for a sign that the sea they each loved could be saved. And in that silence came words; words from the sky and words from the earth, and somewhere in between their accusations and insults the answer was let slip. The sea, that clever, mystical sea, had left a part of herself slumbering in the sky, and only by falling from the atmosphere and back into her waters could she awaken.

And so the earth attacked again, willing to tear apart the sky to save the sea, while the sky fought back to protect the still-slumbering sea.

And the sky, with the sun at his back and the heart of the sea within him, pushed back the earth, who retreated.

But the sky was still burdened, for the sea was still calm and motionless, even and he sent down winds to try and disturb the surface. So he smiled down at the sea whom he loved, and fell from the high plane on which lived, and showered the stars into the sea.

And as they splashed into the waters, the star in which the sea had hidden her heart fell into the depths, and the sea awoke. But when she looked up she did not see the sky, for he had cracked himself to save her, and instead she saw only the dark shadow of where the sky used to be. But she could see the sky even through the shadow, and in her torment and anguish and desperation she brought up a mighty monsoon, with waves so high that she embraced the sky even through the shroud of shadows, and pieced him back together.

But though the sky and the sea were reunited, their friend the earth was still lost in the depths of the darkness that had swallowed their young world. So the sky, after making sure that the sea was safe, set out to find the earth. He discovered that the darkness had ensnared his friend the earth, and so he fought it for the sake of his friend, sending winds to blow away the dust of the darkness from the earth.

And thus the sky was victorious. The earth was freed of his captor, the darkness, but he still had penance to pay for breaking the boundaries of their young world, and so he closed the hole he had created, leaving himself stranded beyond.

But their story was yet not done, for the world could not exist without the sky, the sea and the earth all together.

So the sky set out to find the earth again and bring him back to the waiting sea.

But along the way the darkness grew restless, and it isolated the sky, stole the stars and buried them so deep in the night sky that the sky had to sleep while the sea mist put them back together. When he awoke, he set out again, expanding across other young worlds to find where the earth had been buried. And somewhere along the way, the restless sea rose herself up and set out across the young worlds to find her two friends so that their world could be complete.

Finally, somewhere across the nothingness beyond their small world, the sky found the sea, and together they coaxed the earth out of his hiding place, and the sky pulled him into the atmosphere while the sea washed him clean of the darkness.

And together once again, the sky, the sea, and the earth returned to the young world from which they came, and patched up the hole the earth had made.

There the three friends lived and grew old as the world grew old; the humbled earth reveling in the simplicity of his little patch of ground, while beautiful sea embraced her strong sky.

the end

Disclaimer: If I did, we'd have had 358/2 Days back in Summer of 08 like they originally said when the title was first announced.

By the way, I'm holding a contest. See my profile for details.