A/N: Originally written for the kh drabble community's challenge [260] Music. Enjoy.

Thanks: M. L. Ayala, my beta. :)

The rather fast and mesmerizing music the orchestra was playing, along with laughter and the buzz of talking people, had a positive effect on everyone, that was clear. Everyone looked so deliriously happy, almost as if the dark days were finally over.

Still, it was strange to hear this kind of music that left you excited. Excited, because it seemed to be so promising, so full of hope, so positive.

Maybe the dark days really were finally over.

Leon leaned in his trademark posture against a far and lonely wall, watching the chaos in front of his eyes ensue. He thought it was much better to watch from a safe distance than to be in the middle of it, or worse: participate in it.

With "chaos," he meant the partying, singing and dancing townsfolk. This was the first party that the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee had organized since they arrived in Radiant Garden, and by the looks of it, the inhabitants of this world were clearly enjoying it (although to Leon, it looked more like they had lost their minds). In fact, everyone was blending in perfectly in the festivities. Everyone, except the taciturn swordsman.

Why was it that he was the only one who was always left alone (Yuffie didn't count!), he wondered. He shook his head, trying to tune out the music that left him pretty depressed.

Wasn't music supposed to have the opposite effect on people?

He watched how the dancing couples swirled around, unconsciously thinking of the last annual ball he had visited. That was when he had danced with her for the first time.

Leon frowned, not liking where his unpleasant thoughts were leading him. Once again, he averted his gaze from the scene in front of him and looked around instead, not sure what he was looking for.

He had to admit that Aerith, Yuffie and the Gullwings had done a great job on decorating this huge room. Who had thought that they would have such a good taste when you combined them? Everything looked spick and span, from the big table with drinks and other food, to the beautiful garlands that consisted of white lilies (probably Aerith's favorite flowers). They almost looked real in the lighting.

Nevertheless, he already knew that this was going to be a long and boring evening. He hated dances and this one brought dullness to a whole new level.

Leon sighed, running a hand through his silky smooth hair. Such a pity that it was an obligatory occasion. Besides, it wasn't likely that Yuffie and Aerith would let him get away that easily.

The two women had told him to "loosen up a little."

Easier said than done. Three women had asked him to dance with them already, but he had turned them all down as friendly as he could.

"Excuse me, I'm looking for someone. Have you seen-"

Leon's heart skipped a beat or two by hearing that vaguely familiar voice. Before she had finished her sentence, with that melodious voice of hers that barely came above the loud music, Leon had already turned his head in her direction. His steel blue eyes widened, because it was the last person he had expected to see.

At that moment, the lovely music seemed far away. It slowed down and became a soft, melodious whisper, like the warm, pleasant wind outside, albeit enchanting.

After all this years of searching for her, and not finding her, he had started to believe that maybe she had died.

The raven-haired woman stood close enough to him to hear him whisper incredulously, "Rinoa?"

A/N: Hope you liked it. Was it good? Bad? Horrible? Tell me what you think about it. Reviews are appreciated. Also, I would really appreciate it if you could vote in my new poll about what pairing you would like me to write about more. :)