Healing Rain

Naminé's pale blue eyes were locked on the window in front of her, the one that kept her separated from the outside world. She hardly ever had the opportunity to have fun, since the Organization kept her in her room so that she would be available to serve them whenever they wanted her. It had given her a lot of time to draw, yes, but right now, she was doing something else.

In a way, this was more enjoyable than her usual hobby. She grew tired of drawing for the wrong reasons, which included anything the Organization made her do. And there was only so much she could imagine and sketch on paper when she was in a room this bland. The mystery of the outside world captivated her in surprising ways.

One way being the water that was currently falling from the sky. Rain, it was called.

And she was watching the drops of rain crash against her window, gentle but strong. Small…yet so significant for her.

The blonde giggled, lifting a finger and tracing one of the drops sliding down. Before coming to this place, she had never seen rain before. All the other Organization members acted like it was so normal, but she was enthralled by it. What made the rain fall down? she wondered. Is the sky crying? She hoped not, because the rain made her want to do anything but cry. It made her want to laugh. It made her happy, for once.

It seemed…cleansing. It washed away anything unwanted outside, though it did make the dirt wet enough to become more liquidy. What was that called again? Oh, mud.

Whatever the case, Naminé loved the rain. The way it fell so simply and gently made her believe that maybe all things could be washed away in such a simplistic way. Her past mistakes, for example. Her sins. Perhaps one day, a rain would fall that would wash away the pain and sorrow she experienced so often due to the Organization. Maybe one day…the rain would set her free.

But until that day, she would enjoy the soft pitter-patter of raindrops as they splattered against her window. She would savor the opportunity to watch raindrops race each other down the window, and smile when her predicted raindrop beat the other one. She would even smile when the raindrops ran into each other and formed one drop of water. As long as she had the rain, she would have a reason to smile.

"What's going on, witch?" a familiar female voice asked from the doorway.

Naminé immediately brought her hand away from the window, standing upright as she turned around and looked to the door. She didn't bother responding to Larxene, who was standing there with Vexen. What were those two doing together? Naminé knew that they normally hated each other.

"You wish to go out in the rain, don't you?" Vexen asked, his voice almost soothing. The words, though, were what made Naminé freeze. They knew? Of course they did…they saw her staring longingly out the window. And they knew how much fun the rain was, because the often went outside and jumped in the puddles as it rained. But Naminé was never invited, of course. And why would she want to go out with them? She wasn't friends with any of them…except maybe Axel and Roxas. But those two had never invited her outside either. That made her sad, since she thought they would have noticed her longingly gazing at the rain.

"Well? Do you?" Vexen prompted, breaking through Naminé's thoughts.

"Y-yes," Naminé said softly. She did want to go out. Very badly.

"Then go," the scientist said, stepping out of the doorway so she could exit her room. She didn't take him seriously, her hopes accompanied by disbelief.

"Hurry up, witch," Larxene spat.

That was all the encouragement Naminé needed. She hurriedly walked to the door and past Larxene and Vexen. She didn't look back to see if they were following her, though they actually were for some reason. She didn't really care. She was finally going to go feel the rain!

The trip to the front of the building felt short, her footsteps light and quick as she pulled the door open. The moment it was fully opened, she stood stock still in shock. She was looking at the rain…and nothing was separating her from it. The rain—the cleansing rain she had dreamed of for so long—It was finally going wash over her.

A single giggle left Naminé's lips as she ran outside, stopping a few feet out as her body trembled with joy. She looked up at the sky and felt the rain start dampening her pale dress, which was thick enough to keep her a little warm for the time being. But it was a small dress, so the cool rain fell and gently hit the skin on her arms, legs, and face.

And she loved it.

The blonde looked up at the gray sky, blinking when a drop of water hit the corner of her eye. But then she looked down at her arms, seeing the raindrops race each other on her skin and fall down off the tip of her fingers. She found this incredibly amusing for some reason.

And she also found the fact that she was now soaking wet hilarious as well.

She laughed, looking at a puddle on the ground and skipping over it to jump in. She had been wanting to do this for so long…

A loud boom suddenly startled her, taking away the joy.

Her smile disappeared as she looked to the sky, seeing a streak of light in the distance. She gasped at the cackling sound it made, fear taking over and making her curiosity go forgotten. The loud sound, and that sudden light! She had never seen them before, so she didn't know that they were thunder and lightning. She only knew that they scared her and took away the peaceful, gentle impression she had of the rain.

This wasn't what she expected.

The blonde put her hands down by her sides, her wide eyes on the sky as she started backing up towards the house. More thunder sounded, and she assumed that because of what happened a minute ago, a flash of light would follow. Oh…oh no…

The lightning did follow, but it wasn't from the storm. Larxene sent down a bolt of lightning right next to Naminé to startle her. Her ploy worked, the young Nobody yelping in shock and stumbling over to the side. Naminé heard Larxene's wicked laughter as she tripped over her own two feet and fell into some mud. She didn't realize Larxene was responsible for the lightning, though, too scared of the storm to think straight.

The rain started coming down harder, and so did the tears that surfaced in Naminé's eyes. She started crying as she pushed herself up. Finally, she tore her eyes away from the sky and looked back to the house, seeing Larxene still laughing and Vexen observing her for some science experiment.

I…They knew the storm would hurt me. Or at least scare me, Naminé thought, shaken. They knew it would crush my dreams of something so peaceful existing, and yet they brought me out here.

Naminé ignored her muddy dress as she hurried back to the building, tears leaving her eyes as Larxene's laughter continued.

She never made it in, though.

The door opened and somebody suddenly stepped out, intercepting her. She grunted and felt a pair of hands grab her upper arms, the girl stopped right in front of whoever it was. He was keeping her here, outside where the danger was…

"Hey, leave her alone!" the person cried to Larxene and Vexen.

Naminé looked up in surprise, finally seeing the angered face of the person who was standing up for her. Roxas.

"Don't worry, blondie. We're just having some fun with our pet," Larxene said with a smirk.

"And gathering data. What an interesting Nobody…" Naminé looked over at Vexen at the words, shivering at his expression. And Roxas didn't take this well either, which surprised her. They were friends, but he didn't ever stand up to other Organization members even if he disagreed with them. He hardly spoke at all unless he was with Axel.

"Shut up. Both of you," Roxas growled.

"What? Don't act like you're actually offended," Larxene commented with another laugh. "You can't feel a thing, remember Number Thirteen? You're a Nobody now, just like us. Just like her. So cut the emotional crap."

Roxas ignored her, loosening his hold on Naminé. "C'mon," he said softly to her, moving his arm to wrap around her shoulders as he led her inside, away from the villains who tricked her into going outside only to play a mean joke on her.

He wouldn't let this happen again.

*…*…*…*…*

After that initial rainy day, the weather cleared up so it was back to normal. But the girl who was always drawing—the girl Roxas considered to be a friend—had not returned to normal. Granted, she had always been quiet, but Roxas could tell she was shaken by what happened with Larxene and Vexen a week ago.

But she was even more shaken that today, rain clouds were returning.

The boy cleared his throat, subconsciously straightening his long black jacket as he walked away from his bedroom to go to Naminé's. He felt the need to see how she was doing, since he was the only person who would. Nobody else cared for her like he did. He knew Nobodies weren't supposed to be able to care, but he knew that his feelings weren't false. And neither were Naminé's tears the other day. She had feelings just like he did.

He lifted a hand and ran his finger under his nose, a habit he had because of his own nature. He was…nervous, to see her. How terrified was she now that it was raining again?

Hesitantly, he knocked on the door to her bedroom. "Naminé?" he called.

There was no response, so he turned the knob and gently pushed the door open. He knew she was in there, but when he saw her, he felt his blue eyes soften. She was sitting in the corner with her knees drawn to her chest and her arms around them. She really is scared of the storm.

"Hey," he called softly. He couldn't stand to see her just sitting around like this, fearfully waiting out the storm. He had to help her somehow. He already felt guilty for not helping her better the other day, so maybe this would clear his conscience.

The girl lifted her head at his call and looked up at him, and the look in her eyes broke his heart even more than her position did. He walked over and offered her his hands to help her up. And though she didn't understand why she needed to stand, she did accept his help and rise to her feet. She's so naïve, so innocent…

"We're gonna go outside, okay?" Roxas asked. Naminé's eyes bulged in fear. "It'll be okay. I promise."

He watched as Naminé studied him, trying to decide whether or not to trust him. He had never given her reason not to. He couldn't. How could he possibly lead somebody so innocent astray on purpose? He wasn't cruel like the others were. And besides…he liked Naminé. Maybe as more than just a friend.

And he didn't know her feelings, but at least she did trust him. That was proven to him when she nodded to him and looked him in the eye. She was willing to go outside, just because of his promise.

"Here, you'll need this," Roxas said, taking his hands out of Naminé's and unzipping his cloak. Of course, she started protesting, but he wasn't about to let her go outside in only her dress. He draped the coat over her shoulders, seeing her expression when he did that. What he didn't know, though, was that she was thinking how warm it was. And how she had never seen Roxas in his street clothes before. The long, mostly tan pants and the short-sleeved jacket made him look like a normal human being instead of a member of the Organization.

"Better zip it up," he recommended. "It's pouring out there." When he saw her confused look, he realized again just how sheltered she was. "Er, uh, I mean it's raining really hard," he said in recovery. Once that was clear to Naminé, she followed his instructions. Before zipping up her coat, she put her arms through the sleeves and then zipped it up. And because of its magical properties, she now had on black boots instead of her sandals. And thankfully, the coat fit her perfectly because of the magic. But even if she was wearing the coat, she didn't look like a member of the Organization. Her eyes showed too much naiveté for her to pass as one of them.

"Let's go," Roxas said with an encouraging smile, the blond starting out of the room. At first, he didn't hear Naminé behind him, but then her hurried steps came. She came right beside him and walked especially close since a rumble of thunder came from outside. But at least she was still walking with him.

"Y'know, I always liked rain too," Roxas started as they walked. "How long have you liked it?" She didn't respond right away, not speaking to him. But he wouldn't let him get him down. "It was a while, right?"

Naminé nodded softly after a few moments. And that was all the interaction they had before they reached the front door.

Naminé didn't reach for the door handle, and neither did he. He kept his bright blue eyes on her and studied her fearful expression. "…It's going to be okay," he said softly. "Trust me, storms aren't all that scary once you get used to them. I actually like them now." He smiled at the girl, only getting a nod in response.

My word can only go so far. It's time for her to see for herself.

He sucked in a breath and then finally reached for the handle of the door. After turning it, Roxas pushed the door open and stepped outside, underneath the small roof that kept him sheltered from the rain. He smiled casually, looking back and motioning for Naminé to come with him.

She refused.

"C'mon, Nam, it's nice out here," he said encouragingly. "There's a light breeze…but you can probably feel that from where you're standing anyway. But…" Stop babbling, idiot! "Anyway, the rain won't hurt you. It's not lightning or thundering outside today."

Naminé's expression portrayed confusion again. Lightning? Thunder?

"Oh, uh, lightning was the flash that you saw in the sky the other day. And what Larxene sent down right beside you," he explained. The girl's expression changed once more, easily readable to Roxas. 'Larxene did that?' "It's one of her powers to control Lightning. And her other powers include being a big jerk…"

That last line got a giggle out of Naminé, making her smile weakly. Finally, she stepped outside and stood beside Roxas. The smile had Roxas lost for a few moments, but then he picked up where he had left off before answering Naminé's question about Larxene.

"And thunder…that's the rumbling or the booming. Thunder and lightning are both around in some heavier storms. But they can't hurt you. Thunder is actually the sound lightning makes, and lightning…Well, that can hurt you, but only if it's really, really close." Naminé's expression showed worry. "But, uh, don't be afraid. If it ever strikes in your area, it always goes for the highest thing. So…Like, if I stand out here…" Roxas moved to stand out in the rain. "…Then it'll hit the building and not me, because it's taller. Got it?"

Naminé nodded. She understood all that, but she was clearly enthralled with how Roxas just stood in the rain and let himself get wet. Her innocence…the look in her eyes… He smiled and offered her a hand, since she obviously wanted to do as he was doing. She accepted his hand and stepped out into the rain too, though a lot of it bounced off her black coat. She remained mostly dry, while Roxas remained mostly soaked.

Roxas stared at the blonde in front of him, seeing her look around the area while the rain gently collided with her clothes and her hair, the latter starting to get wet quickly. And he could tell…the wonder that she initially felt from the rain was coming back. She was no longer afraid.

The realization made Roxas feel lighthearted, goofy. "Hey, Naminé, watch this!" he said, releasing her hand and running out across the slick grass. He kept his balance and didn't fall as he reached his destination-a puddle. He jumped up and then landed in the puddle and made quite the splash. Water went everywhere, soaking the grass around him and getting his pants wetter. If he wasn't soaked before, he was now.

He looked over to flash Naminé a cheesy grin, but she wasn't standing where he expected her to be. She was right by him, running over to him and the puddle. And then….she jumped into the puddle just like Roxas had, laughing the whole time.

Roxas smiled like an idiot, joining in with the laughter and the joyful look in Naminé's eyes. A brief flash of lightning illuminated the sky and flashed in her eyes, but she wasn't afraid. She was happy, trusting…beautiful.

The laughter died down after a minute, but they still stared at each other with bright eyes and smiles.

"Roxas…Thank you," Naminé said softly, speaking for the first time today. Or rather, she was speaking audibly for the first time today. He could read her eyes to see all that she was saying, and her eyes were saying something to him right now. And because of that, he felt confident enough to lift one of his soaking wet hands to her face. He set it on her lower cheek and jaw, his fingers weaving into her wet tresses of hair.

"You're welcome," he whispered, moving his face just a tad closer to hers. Her sky blue eyes were speaking to him still, her orbs wide as she also moved closer to him. But she wasn't scared, not anymore. And neither was he.

He leaned in and kissed Naminé in the pouring rain, the two of them finally finding something other than the pain and sorrow that the organization found them.

Today, they found peace and happiness.

Together, they found their healing in the rain.