A/N: This one goes out to Rawkstar Vienna, because I noticed that she was requesting gift fics. And, since she loves YuRiku, I decided to make one for her. Rawkstar, if you're reading this, I hope you like it! XD

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

Life of the Party

"Ah, too tight, too tight!" a certain aspiring ninja moaned from the changing stall at the local mall, trying to squirm her way into a dress that simply refused to fit. "These skinny girls need to eat, I swear!"

Aerith, her best friend since kindergarten, sighed sympathetically at the plight of Yuffie and that particular party dress. Maybe she, the flower girl, shouldn't have suggested the tight black piece, considering how it practically suffocated Yuffie. This was the tenth dress they had gone through today, all in the sake of the party that Sora decided to hold within a few measly hours. Now, if the self-professed "Great Ninja" hadn't procrastinated, she wouldn't have run into this sad situation. Ever since two weeks ago, when Sora himself handed her the invitation, Yuffie kept saying, "Oh, any day now, I'll find something to wear." However, between homework, friends, and yes, the occasional shiny thing, she had gotten sidetracked.

As she awkwardly slipped out of the traitorous black dress, she tossed it over to Aerith, who waited patiently and dutifully. That girl never seemed to run out of patience. The ninja on the other hand...

"Grrrr, I need a dress that isn't size negative four! I might as well just pick one out myself."

Aerith murmured, "Finally," under her breath but otherwise portrayed outward calm, casually adjusting her braid as Yuffie stormed out of the stall. A rainbow of colors from other clothes welcomed her, every shade begging for her to try it on. Unfortunately for Yuffie's patience, she had wandered about the mall for two hours without finding the perfect evening gown.

And then, there it was.

A gauzy blue dress that would most likely go down to her knees stood out like an elephant in the room. Periwinkle happened to be the exact shade, and it looked light and comfortable, ideal for summer weather. This was what she would wear.

She found herself touching it, tracing the leafy green pattern of the sash that went around it. If she could marry clothes, she could propose to this heavenly piece of cloth right this minute. Thrilled at the prospect of wearing such a dress, Yuffie imagined how she would look at Sora's big bash. Every pair of eyes in the teen center building would be glued to her, fixated on her every move. They would be awed by her astounding beauty and possibly envy her for her wise fashion sense. And, most of all, the guy she had been infatuated with for two years would really take notice of her. In fact, he already had, that was why she liked him. He made her feel special without saying a word. Indeed, he acted enigmatic all the time, smiling at her mysteriously and even peering at her through his silver hair shyly. Last time she checked, Riku wasn't normally shy around anybody. To have the spotlight on her and, more importantly, silently scream for his attention would be the keys to her castle in the air.

Then again, did castles remotely require keys to open their gigantic doors? She would have to look it up some time. In the mean time, the least she could do was dream about how exquisitely everything would turn out. The minutes would fly by with her talking to the attendees, dancing through the crowd proudly, and luring Riku's lips to latch onto hers. This was confidence she had, bouncing off every corner of the mall like radiant sunlight! She would shine like the stars and bask in his approval. Just as she reached a climatic nirvana in her thoughts, Aerith gently touched her elbow.

"Are you going to pick that one out? If you are, just buy it. I actually have to get ready for Zack too, you know. But, Yuffie..."

Cradling her party dress protectively, she asked, "What?"

"I know you're getting ready for Riku. You already told me you like him, though, but I can tell that's what you plan to do. I'm sure you'll look very pretty to him."

The ninja girl grinned. "Definitely, he'll love me for sure once I go to the party looking like this. And I can really get dibs on the party host's best friend. It's awesome!"

Still in a cheery mood, Yuffie bought the dress and walked home with Aerith until they both retreated into their houses, a mere block from each other. T-minus twenty minutes until the party, and she couldn't wait for the excitement to unfold.

However, now she grappled with the dilemma of applying the perfect make-up for her face. Despite the high self-esteem she sustained through her words and actions, Yuffie never managed to get along with her appearance. She thought it was OK, but would it even impress Riku? If he liked her before the party, then maybe he wouldn't mind...? Sure, she was no Kairi, the resident popular girl who did everything with grace and tact, but she could try to be appealing in her feminine nature, right? Wow, at the mall, she had forgotten to take this lifelong insecurity into consideration. It seriously was just so not like her to give a rat's behind about personal outward looks. But, the more she pondered over it, the more she doubted herself. Leaning toward the bathroom mirror, Yuffie fingered her long bangs, the longest features of her short black hair. And, as for her eyes, was dark brown considered an attractive eye color?

Restlessly thinking that she asked herself too many questions, she cautiously applied her make-up, something she normally avoided wearing at all costs. But, she had to compete with Kairi. The redhead was undoubtedly Riku's friend, but that didn't mean they couldn't be lovers. No, if anything, that fact landed around that ballpark. Well...Riku and Kairi were the same age for one thing. For another, she made him look even more handsome when she stood beside him, unknowingly complementing him.

"Urrrrgh, who cares?!?" Yuffie scowled at her reflection while warily putting on mascara to lengthen her lashes. "He might not even be interested in her."


All right, natural looking peach eye shadow, pink lipstick, and a bit of blush would suit her just fine. Great, now she appeared stunning, ready to assume position as belle of the ball. She already had her dress on, very blue and very heavenly, and out the door she went. Sora's party would be the bomb, the bash to end all bashes. Keeping in mind her frivolous dream of romance and social butterfly status, she drove to the teen center blissfully.

By the time she managed to find a parking place (thirty cars way more awesome than hers had claimed parking spots) it was six o' clock on the dot. Ah, how she made flawless time! The host could commend her for such punctuality. Well, then again, Sora wouldn't really care, since he was amicable no matter how late she might have shown up. He greeted her graciously.

"Hey, Yuff, this is going to be one heck of a party! OK, um, there're some drinks over there, and the snacks are right by them. See them? OK, great! Have fun!"

Yuffie smiled upon the very friendly nature of Sora. It was no wonder he was one of the most popular boys in school, what with his constant courtesy as well as his ability to have fun no matter what the time or place. When she saw Aerith casually sipping Coke, she waved at her enthusiastically. With her light pink dress, the flower girl simply looked angelic as she demurely smiled.

"Hi, Yuffie. I think everyone is dancing already. So, if you want to talk to them, it's fine."

Yuffie laughed off the suggestion, draping an arm around her good friend's shoulders. "Why would I, Aerith? You receive the privilege of talking to me first, as all best friends of mine do. Go on, kiss my hand!"

Feigning melodrama only came naturally to the good-natured girl, for she managed to make her friend giggle in the process. It was so nice just to be yourself at such a fine, fine party. Oh, speaking of fine...

"There he is!" Yuffie gasped, pointing to Riku who smiled yet again at her. "Oh God, he's so cute I could just cuddle him!"

Aerith noticed her boyfriend Zack walking toward the both of them. "You don't mind if I leave you then, do you?"

"Of course not! I have the whole world to talk to...or at least these awesome people."

And so, Yuffie did chat with a variety of party guests, all of them admiring her dress and talking about how their summers were going. Yes, everything was going as well as she daydreamed in her head. Whenever a certain dance song came on, she could perform each dance spectacularly with the rest (though her black high heels killed her feet) except the Cotton Eyed Joe dance. That dance was for the best of them, she could honestly attest to that fact. She ate delicious chocolate chip cookies and chips and dip with Olette and Namine, who liked the dress, too. It was a miracle dress, because everything went so right tonight.

"Hm, I knew I should have gotten one like this. It looks great," Namine complimented, sincerely liking the get-up.

Olette nodded in agreement. "Yeah, Yuffie, you sure have taste. So, have you gotten around to talking to Riku yet?"

Yuffie laughed nervously, knowing that that was the one thing on her party to-do list she had failed to accomplish as of yet. She glanced anxiously back toward him....and he was talking to Kairi. Could he have possibly been leading her on after all this time? After all the locked eyed gazes and the smiles, would she have to succumb to the inevitable that Riku and Kairi would match up impeccably together? She felt humiliated, though she shouldn't have had to be. Things were going so well still...

Uh-oh, Seifer had shown up. And, last time Yuffie checked, he disliked her thoroughly for some odd reason she had yet to figure out.

"Nope, but I plan on it. Girls, I'm going to have him by the end of the night!" she declared to her younger friends (a year her junior like Riku). She had to set an example for the next generation of girlfriends after all. Forget Seifer, she actually had friends to talk to. He was just the bully who...

An entire bottle of Pepsi was splashed over her black hair, ruining her hair job from yesterday. The streams of dark colored soda trickled their way down her skin and onto the dress she had prided herself on.

When she turned around to see the guffawing culprit, she discovered Seifer slapping his thigh. Oh, that punk was going to get it!

Grabbing him by the collar, she screamed in his face, "Dude, what is your damn problem with me?!? I never even freaking talk to you, you dumbass!"

Still recovering from his bout of laughter, he explained, "It's because nobody likes you, 'ninja girl.' The whole school thinks you're psychotic for even considering being a real ninja. That's the Naruto world, idiot—can't believe you still watch that show! Everyone here thinks you're a loser, and that you should do what all losers do: get lost!"

He thought it was the best joke ever told while Yuffie's confidence shattered into a million bite-sized pieces like little Skittles. And like Skittles could be if you bought the right kind, they could be sour. For, at this point, she believed Seifer's lie while everyone stared at her, mouths agape. This wasn't what happened in her daydream.

All the party goers had stared at her in awe in her ethereal vision of teenage bliss. Right this second, though, they gazed at her in shock. They probably agreed with Seifer but were just too nice to admit it. Worst of all, Riku kept looking at her with some weird expression she couldn't identify. Pessimism raining on her previously joyous parade, she resolved to take that expression as revulsion. He was disgusted with her for being such an unlikable dork. Feet frozen to the floor, Yuffie could barely speak. When she did, she nearly squeaked at Seifer, "You're stupid!" and ran out the door. Beyond her escape, she ran as hard and as far as possible, feeling like she needed to die. Or, at the very least, she needed to disappear for a while. Yeah, a long while—maybe she could hide out in her house forever, never to see the break of day again. Technically, she would witness the sunrise but not the school days. That would be great. Oh, and didn't she see Riku slow dance with Kairi when that one song played? She thought she did. Her dress ruined with her mascara along the way, she plopped down on her bottom by the park playground and sobbed. She couldn't believe what a fool she made herself out to be! If anyone would ever condescend to look upon her inferior face again, she would be eternally grateful.

"Yuffie!" a male voice called out to her, though she ignored him. She just kept crying like tomorrow would never come, making a mess out of herself. Streaks of black were coming down her face, she felt them. But, she also felt a strong, reliable arm around her, too.

"R—Riku?" she asked, unsure about the credibility of this current moment. He couldn't possibly be here with her...but he was, sitting beside her companionably.

He smiled wryly. "Yeah, it's me. Look, don't cry. That Seifer kid was just being an idiot anyway. No one thinks that."

"Sure they don't," Yuffie murmured sarcastically, turning herself away so her crush couldn't see how awful her face looked. "They all probably laugh at me behind their backs. I'm just the random chick who is a little too eccentric. Everyone just pretends to be nice to me, because they're trying to hide their annoyance. I can be obnoxious, you know."

"But, I like you that way, Yuff."

Surprised, Yuffie abruptly turned around to see Riku's serious expression, his teal eyes gazing at her sympathetically. How could anyone see her true self like he did? They technically barely knew each other, and yet...they could have known each other forever.

"But, I'm not even pretty, Riku! Not compared to Kairi."

His silver eyebrows (so pretty) furrowed. "Kairi? You think I like Kairi?"

He almost chuckled but upon seeing Yuffie's almost timid, reproachful face, he stopped himself. "No, no, she's just a friend. She's going with Sora right now. And...you are pretty. I always thought you were."

He blushed upon admitting this, concealing his flushed face with his bangs that practically dropped past his eyes if he didn't keep flicking back his silver hair all the time. Without really thinking about why she did it, Yuffie hugged Riku tightly and didn't want to let go. He was so gentle with her, embracing her back just as tightly.

After they parted after a good five minutes, he asked her kindly, "So, care to rejoin the party? Everyone else says that they like having you around. And so do I."

"What about that idiot?"

He grinned slyly. "He got thrown out of the party."

Yuffie smiled back shyly, her face turning beet red. "By who?"

Stepping towards her, he held her waist, staring at her like he had with no other girl. After all the girls he dated, he still liked her through all of his so-called relationships. She found it completely unreal, though she chose to accept this. He liked her for who she was, no matter what stupid idiots like Seifer thought.

"By me," he whispered, kissing her lips so softly she felt like she could fly.

The rest of the party was amazing. She conversed with five people at a time, ate until she nearly drowned herself with food...

...And slow danced with Riku.

A/N: Well, there you have it! I tried to make this as good as possible. Hope it's not too unrealistic for you guys. Then again, I just find this such an awesome pairing that I think I did decently.

Reviews would be nice. XD