Title: The Seagull Children

Fandom: Kingdom Hearts

Characters: Sora, Riku, Kairi

Summary: One day we'll change from children into people. Post-KH2.

Disclaimers: The Kingdom Hearts franchise and its characters do not belong to me.

the seagull children


Summertime on Destiny Islands is sweet with the burn of pineapple juice. Mango is friendly and uncomplicated, guava a flirtatious pink, papaya exotic if excessively seedy, bitter when green, and, of course, paopu, loved for its sentimental values, the idealized notion that it represents, entwined destinies. But the pineapple is king, crowned with healthy green spikes and mottled cloying eyes, royal yellow in ripeness. Trails of sticky-sugary liquid dripping down your chin, jogging gorgeous and unrepentant. As all summer kings should be.

That first summer back, Sora finds he is brimming with a strange elation. It's this, all of this, he knows, sailboats, sundresses, and sunburnt smiles, the many afternoons loping among the waves dopey and drunk with light. July is jubilant, a twanging tune; it blooms into August and inevitably there is a game of soccer on the beach, skidding through the water at blurring pace, the ball hopping from ankle to head to sanded knee. Until: a break in the rhythm sends it tumbling into the waves. It is immediately swept out to sea, and Riku, uncharacteristically unthinking, leaps after it, his long body a pale arc smeared across the sky, caught momentarily in time.

It looks volcanic from a distance, something on the edge of overflowing, then a tinkling splash and Sora is dashing in after him, his clumsy breaststrokes cutting through the water. They clutch at each other, grappling, eyes stinging with salt at the edges, and Riku's skin, Sora notes, still tastes the same as the sea.

On the shore, Kairi is waving at them. She's standing at the edge of the water, hip canted to one side and a picnic basket balanced on its curve. Her hair billows out in the breeze, riotously russet in the afternoon sun. There's some confused movement where Riku mostly tries to hold on to the soccer ball and Sora mostly tries to dunk him good, before a wave ducks back into the ocean and the rip of the surf dumps them both on the sand, to land at Kairi's feet.

She tuts at them disapprovingly. But tosses down two cartons of pineapple juice, and walks off to spread out the gingham blanket.

Later, over de-crusted tuna sandwiches, she informs them, "You both need a haircut."

And, at their scandalized expressions, "School's starting up in a few weeks and I'm not having either one of you walking into class looking like lawless bums. I've got a pair of scissors here somewhere."

There's no argument. Sora puts up a token protest, is quickly subdued, and parts with his salt-crusted hair in good grace. But Riku retains his look of dismay that actually begins to falter into total despair when she rounds on him, and Sora very nearly snorts a mouthful of juice up his nose as Kairi rolls her very blue eyes and says, "It's very sad that you're prettier than me, Riku, I agree, but we all have to make sacrifices." She waves the scissors in a confident arc, the silver flash like glass-bright scales of fish in the ocean.

But Riku is right to have reservations. Kairi isn't much of a barber, but she sure can truss somebody up until his own mother won't recognize him.

A/N: Sorry it cuts off rather abruptly. This was written ages ago, and meant to be part of a longer story. But I rarely if ever post gen fic here, let alone a gen ficlet, so you can forgive me?