A/N: This is a little dabble I made for an LJ challenge. That's why it's so short, but I hope you enjoy nevertheless.

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy is the property of Square Enix.


"I'd love to live in this forest forever."

Penelo's adolescent mind was filled with flowers and iridescent skies. And Vaan.

I pondered her naiveté as I watched her waiting for him on the path. She had been standing alone, surrounded by the mossy trunks and heavy canopies of the Salika forest. The light trickled through the leaves, giving a dense, green light. A dark, mysterious sort of atmosphere.

In the sun's golden rays, her alabaster skin looked lighter. Her eyelashes cast shadows on her cheekbones, and her thin, pink lips where drawn up in an involuntarily smile. Her face so utterly unmarred by dark emotions, so much so that she came across as one of those rare individuals that where utterly contended. For now.

Vaan reached her on the path and grabbed her hand. A careless, nonchalant motion, without heed for her breakability. Without knowing how fragile she was.
Her mind; all flowers and spring, all happiness and innocence. How long would it last? How long, I wondered, 'till she turned into her princess and mentor? How long until she would realize that after summer came autumn. That after life came death.

Vaan did not think to appreciate what he had, as he pulled her after him down the path. He did not imagine that that easy laughter that echoed through the forest as they ran, would someday be gone. That there'd be a day when she would run and run, but no laughter would spring to those beautiful lips.

That's when you'll turn to me. And I'll be waiting, my dearest. When you are no longer contented, when your life is so grey that even Vaans baby-blue eyes and unfaltering moral can't reach you, make you feel better, that's when you'll come to me.

I sat a slow pace after them, not wishing to share in their seemingly eternal sunshine. There are no flowers where I stand. No moral standard. Only solace for abandonment.

And that's what I'll give you, dearest. One day, when the deaths of those around you finally cloud that sky, and this forest that you so love seems like a prison, I'll be here. I'll be the one to take your hand, and guide you out of this paradise.