It had only been a week or so since the three of them had returned home, but Kairi already felt like she'd never left. The same clear blue sky, the same salty air…nothing had changed in their absence.

Their parents had been glad to see them, of course, but it had taken a long time to explain why they had been gone. Eventually, though, the three had managed to give a brief explanation of their adventures. Kairi had noticed since then that her parents had become noticeably careful about her whereabouts. They always asked her where she was going, and when she'd be back. Kairi understood. Despite not being their real daughter, she was precious to them. She couldn't blame them for worrying that she might leave the islands again.

The worst part was that leaving was a very real possibility, especially for Sora. He might have to go and fight the Heartless again someday, and there was no way to be sure that he would return. Kairi didn't like to think about that. Sora was a precious friend to her – maybe even more than that – and she wanted him to be safe. But if there came a time where he had to leave, then there would be no stopping him.

Sometime soon, he said, he would teach her how to use her new Keyblade. She knew that she, too, was precious to him. If she was ever in danger, he said, he'd want her to be able to fight back.

For now, though, she was just glad to be home. After being away, this small, simple world seemed all the more beautiful.