You're a Princess Now

Naminé's platinum blond hair hung in ringlets around her face. Taking a cue from her once Somebody, she wore a baby pink show dress, and diamond speckled gloves. She grinned, as she pulled the dress up at her knees so her feet would be free. Xion clapped her hands together, and put a crown on Nami's head. The blond patted her oldest friend on the shoulder. But friend was a word Naminé used lightly. Xion was much more than that. Xion was her sister in every sense of the word.

But, of course, Kairi was also her sister. And said princess threw herself at Naminé, and hugged her tightly to herself. Tears dotted Kairi's eyes, and Naminé pulled back a slight bit irritated. "Don't cry, Kai. If you cry, I will!" So irritated hadn't been the right word. More like Nami had been feigning irritation. She knew if Kairi didn't get a hold of herself, she too would be a pathetic mess of sobs. That was not exactly how Naminé'd imagined her coronation.

Coronation... Naminé could hardly believe it! How could things have turned out so happily when they'd seemed so nightmarish? How had she recieved this honor? How had she found her world when it had seemed to have fallen from her grasp?

The answer to all of this rested with one boy. And that is exactly where our story begins.

...

The sapphire eyed girl, who wasn't so much a Nobody anymore, felt more lost than ever. Naminé traced around her hand with a pencil, and wasn't surprised at the perfect image she'd created when she held the drawing to the light. It was beautiful. One of her best drawings by far, but it was also cheating. She'd pretty much used a stencil, but what else was she supposed to do? She was having artist's block, but she knew she had to push forward. If she didn't, she didn't know what she could do. What was there for her if she didn't have drawing?

And as that unhappy thought entered her heart, instead of her mind like it once would have, she felt tears falling from her eyelids. If Naminé was in a drawing mood, she would have drawn them as small dots. Small dots that turned into thin lines before disappearing. Her tears weren't there long. Maybe because she didn't want them to be. Naminé was sick of the dramatic shows she'd lived with. No. They were gone as fast as they came. The water was burried in her hair now, and no one would be the wiser. No one except herself.

Xehanort was long since dead. All of those that had been lost, and then revived, were probably still celebrating. Master Eraqus and his three pupils. Ansem the Wise was undoubtedly with the King. And then Sora would be with Riku and Kairi, as always. And Roxas had his Axel and Xion. Naminé... she didn't belong anywhere. Maybe she never really had. She'd found herself in Sora and Roxas' hearts. She also knew she was in theirs, but those two would always belong to Kairi and Xion. It had been silly to expect anything different. But her heart had hoped, and hearts were traitorous things.

She imagined that the couples made her feel most alone. Terra and Aqua would also be getting together, she knew. She knew more than she ever should have through people's memories. Maybe that was all she'd ever have. A power she didn't even want. And maybe she was suffering for all her mistakes and bad choices. For wanting to be saved when she didn't deserve it, but wanted it. Oh how she had wanted it.

"Why are you crying, Naminé?" The "witch's" eyes darted upward to where Roxas-Ventus-sat. For a moment, the girl felt as though she'd been sent back in time. Though she now realized that it was Ven she was seeing and not Roxas, the scene was so similar to when she'd discussed Roxas' fate with him. At once, Naminé felt guilty for all she'd put Roxas through. Though she had no idea what Ventus wanted, she promised herself she would see it in her to help him. This was her second chance.

Very soon, though, the scene changed. Ven stood up, and vacated the chair across from Naminé. He walked by the table's side, until he found himself behind Naminé's chair. He peered at her new drawing (that Naminé hadn't even realized she'd been doing) with his head cocked to the side. "That's a really good stone alley, Miss Naminé. But maybe you could make it look more gravelly?" It came out as a question more than anything. Naminé threw a glance at Ventus over her shoulder. It was clear he didn't know much about art, but was willing to try anyway.

"Hey!" That was the sound of Naminé's protest, as Ventus stole her sketchbook from her arms; he ripped out the page she'd been drawing on. She didn't have time to protest that, however, because he quickly put the paper on the table, and began coloring more of the street. Naminé watched awe struck. The slight bumps on the table effected the drawing's texture. It did, in fact, make the stone passageway look more realistic. Naminé watched him closely, and she couldn't help the hesitant smile that found its way onto her face.

This was not unnoticed by Ven when he turned to gage her reaction. Upon seeing her approval, he laughed some. All too soon, he was returning to the drawing. He stuck his tongue out, as he struggled with making the picture look exactly the way he wanted to. Naminé looked on, and commended him on his growing ability in art. She gave him pointers now and then, but it was positively relaxing to see someone else draw for once. To see drawings come into fruition that had absolutely nothing to do with memories.

Somewhere along the way, the teens found a packet of bubblegum in the mansion, and began chewing it and critiquing drawings. Naminé had never felt more like a teenager. The gum seemed to make her feel more sophisticated. It made her feel like she knew more than she actually did, as she blew bubbles with a careless air to her. One time she got some gum in Ven's hair, but with an intense gravity spell from him, it was off before either of them could really panic.

It was, however, a problem for the ceiling. Ven overshot the spell, and the piece of Bazooka cemented itself to the ceiling. In that ridiculous, embarassment filled moment, Naminé realized she'd made a true friend. Sora had once said that you were friends if you had fun hanging out together, and it seemed he had been right in some ways. Ven smiled at Naminé, and she returned it much the same way. It was almost like looking into a mirror. In that moment, Naminé saw how much Ven and her had in common. Both abused, both needed in a plot, both innocent... both in need of someone.

At the end of the day, Ventus tore his drawing up. He deemed it an artistic failure, and saw it best to leave before scarring the art world anymore. But art aside, Ven made Naminé promise to hang out with him again. And her heart beat more then than she thought it ever would when she agreed.

When Ven was long gone, Naminé picked up the torn remains of Ventus' drawing. She began putting the pieces back together.

...

"You're so pretty, Naminé." Xion commented, as she jumped onto Kairi's old desk. The redhead slightly glared at her dear friend, but didn't say anything. Though she didn't plan to ever stay in her old Radiant Garden room again, she didn't want to destroy what was left of her old life. Xion, understanding, smiled sheepishly, and jumped off the violet table.

Naminé, as it was, was oblivious to the action. She was looking in the mirror at herself. She seemed to be searching for something. It always seemed she was looking for something. The question was if he'd like what she'd finally found in herself.

"I can't thank you enough for doing this, Nami. Sora and I never really wanted to be royalty. Lord knows he hasn't been home in years. And now that he is-"

"You two want a honeymoon in every since of the word."

Kairi blushed beet red at what her once Other had said, but Xion saw it best to high-five Naminé for it. It was true, in a sense. Though Sora and Kairi were still well on the way to becoming a healthy, normal couple... being on a beautiful, peaceful place like Destiny Islands probably helped the romance. Naminé was positive that they'd be officially together in no time. In fact, it was probably only Sora's fear of being summoned again that kept him from keeping his feelings in. He didn't want to hurt Kairi.

In that moment, Naminé noticed Ven was more like Sora than she'd ever realized. This thought didn't warm her though. It made her heart fill with regret.

Xion must have noted where Naminé's thoughts had led her. After all, who knew tradgedy and sacrifice better than Xion? The ebony haired girl sat on a stool, and opened and closed the crown box in a gentle rhythym. "You're so perfect to be a princess, Naminé. I think, after all the difficult decisions you've made, it's only you that could do it. You know what each choice will cause, and I'm more than willing to put my faith behind you, my lady."

Kairi kicked Xion off the stool, and all three girls laughed. "Don't make her feel the center of attention, Xi. You know she hates that." Kairi said this with her signature pose of having her hands behind her back. Xion eyed it with interest (she was doing a similar pose even spilled on the floor, but said nothing).

And Naminé... Naminé looked into the eyes of her best friends. Her soul sisters. In them, she saw the future. In them, she saw another's eyes.

...

If Ventus wouldn't have shown up daily after his demand of Naminé, the frail girl might have feared he wouldn't keep his promise. As it was, the thought never even crossed her mind. Ven and Naminé had spent every day together since that day in Twilight Town's Mansion. The two walked hand in hand down Destiny Island's beach. The sun was just setting on the horizon, and it painted the sky in hues of pink, red, and yellow. It was the yellow that the youngest apprentice commented on. "It's like your hair, Naminé! It's so pretty! Maybe if we play hide and seek again, I'll find you the same way."

Said blond bumped into Ven's side playfully. He was so goofy. They'd played hide and seek once (the darker haired blond's idea). And though the game had been over soon, since he'd seen her long hair sticking out, he'd enjoyed the game immensely. And then he'd deemed that Naminé had the most gorgeous hair. He hadn't been quiet about the two sense, but Naminé took it all in stride. She'd learned to not expect much. And Ven was childish, he lived in the moment, and didn't always think about what he said. He was the greatest person Naminé had ever met. For that reason alone, he would never be hers. She always fell in love with people who didn't deserve to be landed with her and her problems.

The two teens almost fell into the waterfall, as Roxas, Axel, and Xion came darting out of the secret place. It was clear they were heading for the dock (Sora, Riku, and Kairi were occupying the bent tree already) to watch the sunset. Naminé watched the show with a smile on her face. Especially when Ven and Roxas eyed each other oddly before ignoring their similar appearance altogether. They'd already met, of course, but it was still wierd to them that they looked so much alike.

It was nice to see her friends. Even if they were too occupied for her at the moment. It was especially nice to be occupied by someone, herself. And it was for that reason she'd become closer to the others. That she could finally see them as friends.

The girl was pulled from her thoughts when she saw Ven towing her into the secret place. She bumped her head at the motion (forgetting to duck down), and Ventus was apologizing profusely. She just waved his worry off with a flick of her hand. Ven, however, was relentless. "And you could be bleeding, Nami! I could have hurt you that badly. And then the blood would seep down and stain your dress, and-"

Ventus cut his own words off when he took in what Naminé was now seeing. Back towards the secret place's evil door (that had started it all), Naminé sunk to the gravelly floor. Right in front of her was solid proof of Sora and Kairi's bond. And it was etched so artfully, so seemlessly, into the wall... it was evident that it should have never been contested. Naminé had known this better than anyone. Naminé had known she could never be his Kairi. And even though Ven meant the world to her... her heart still ached for Sora. Her heart still ached for Roxas. She thought she'd been over this. She'd thought she could be happy for them, but-

"Naminé. You can't be what he needs. You can't ever be as good together as them. You can't bring them down, but maybe I can bring you up higher?"

Naminé looked at Ventus, startled. Despite his later kind words, and will to make her feel better, she couldn't make sense of his earlier words. They were hurtful. Not at all what she expected from the cheery Ventus. Not at all what she would want to hear right now. With a sigh, Ventus sat down beside Naminé. When she remained lost in herself, and guarded, Ven lost a mental battle. He laid a head on Naminé's shoulder, and looked at her from the corner of his eyes. "I've felt the same way you have. About Aqua. It was so easy to love her. It would have been so easy to follow her, and leave Terra to his own. Maybe I should have, but... the past always hurts, Naminé. It rips us apart, tears us at the seams; it destroys it. But if we learn from it, when we look back on this day, maybe this one won't hurt as much."

The blond scampered to her feet. Her white dress snagged on the rocky cave. She was probably making it a lot filthier than the non-existent blood Ven had worried about would have. The way Ven ended up standing up in front of her, the way she was pressed to the wall, Sora and Kairi's mural was completely covered. It would have been so easy to cover that part of her past. That part of her heart. After all, she didn't think she'd ever seen as clearly as she did then. She didn't think anyone had ever understood anything more.

Ventus looked at Naminé with eyes identical to hers. There was a need in them she completely understood. And only she could.

Naminé pulled Ven's arm into hers. She pulled him closer to her, and then she walked away.

She was banking on him not following her. She knew he wouldn't want to hurt her. And she hated herself for wanting him to hold true to that. She hated herself for that more than anything.

...

The girls were all humming slightly when Aqua walked in. At once, Aqua was laughing when she picked up on the tune. "Just because I've found it's easy to use magic when you imagine it with music, doesn't mean you have to hum my 'theme' when I walk in."

Naminé jumped from her seat in front of the vanity, and hugged Aqua as closely as she dared. She even kissed her on the cheek. And then, rather surprising for her, she began humming the music even louder in Aqua's ear. The bluenette pushed her back playfully, but she ushered Naminé to sit in front of the vanity again. Kairi watched in awe when Aqua began turning Nami's hair red little by little. Almost unconsciously, Kairi trailed closer to Naminé; she hugged her shoulders eagerly, as a smile split her face.

Xion joined in, too. But she was closer to Aqua. Xion had always wanted to better her strength. As she looked at Aqua, she seemed to be taking mental notes. Naminé trilled a bit at that to herself. She didn't doubt that even though Aqua was one of the best mages they knew, Xion would pick it up soon and be coloring people's hair in no time. Xion was one of the most driven, determined people Naminé had ever meant.

"Do you really think it'll stay?" Kairi asked cautiously. She bit her lip uncomftorably. It was clear that she was warring with herself. Her desire to believe in Naminé's happy ending more than anything, and her desire to make sure the worlds would remain at peace. That a small, simple mistake couldn't create turmoil.

"Honestly, I think Nami was meant to have red hair," Xion joked. "It'll stay."

Xion had no idea of the memory her words would trigger.

...

After what Ventus had said to her, Naminé had found herself avoiding him. She grew closer to the others this way (mainly because she stayed away from the thoughts of relationships altogether), but it was obvious her life was missing something vital. She missed Ven. It was her own fault he was gone now. And she'd only known him for a short time, but it seemed weird without him. She regretted that out of her own stubborness, she might have been keeping him from happiness. He had kept her happier than anyone, but she wasn't ready for love yet. Not when love had forgotten her so easily. Many, many times that had happened.

At the moment, Kairi was having a panic attack. Now that the worlds (for the most part) were safe, now that Sora was back, Radiant Garden was tired of their princess making excuses to not rule them. If she didn't return to the throne, the kingdom would fall. It would become a democracy. And though it worked for some worlds, Kairi knew that wasn't what had been meant for her world. It wasn't what her father would have wanted. "And Sora can't be my king! I haven't even kissed him yet! I-"

"It's okay, Kai. I'll figure this out. I promise you you won't have to do this. After everything... after everything you deserve your happily ever after."

Kairi and Xion's eyes flicked to Naminé's in grattitude and shock. Naminé had never really been one to be assertive, but when she knew something was right, she would make sure the right path was taken no matter what.

But she hadn't taken her own right path, had she? What of her own happy ending? Why had she given it up? She wondered what Ven was doing...

Xion, noting where Naminé's thoughts were leading her, was quick to give Nami the leave she needed. "Go ahead out into the city, Nami. You look like a woman with a purpose. Maybe if Radiant Garden's citizens see you, they'll be delighted to know the princess has come to speak to them, but-"

"But they won't be harassing the real princess until her decision's made. If they see me, and think Kai's dyed her hair, they won't be looking for a redhead."

Xion smiled at Naminé encouragingly, and with something else in her eyes. "Find your happy ending, Nam," was what it seemed to say. So far, Xion had been the only one to find what she'd been looking for. Sora and Kairi hadn't had time to. And Naminé was being too afraid to.

Feeling uncomftorable (for more than one reason) at Kairi's strained smile, Naminé thought it best to leave her "twins" for just awhile.

The moment that Naminé walked out into the sparkling, healed city... she was taken aback at the violet, almost white, buildings that reached out to the sky. The only things that made the gorgeous kingdom even more spectacular was the snow that had begun to fall. Feeling overjoyed instantly, Naminé leapt into the air. She tried to catch the snowflakes with her tongue, before they fell on the similar colored buildings, but she quickly became dizzy. As she lost her balance, she would have guessed she'd fallen in a stationary truck full of hay, but she felt the cold all around her. Oh. She was in an old thing of snow that hadn't melted yet. As it was close to where the princess was stayng, Naminé assumed it would be taken away rather soon. She curled closer into the truck in protest. What a pity that would be. She'd always liked snow, and the snowflakes now didn't look like they'd stick.

"Oy! Get down from there, Miss Naminé! You don't want to be taken to the middle of nowhere. Who knows when the driver will be back?"

"Mister Ventus!" Naminé exclaimed, as she slid down the angled truck to stand on the ground again.

Said boy looked at Naminé with a smirk and raised eyebrow. "'Mister Ventus'?" he laughed. It was very easy for Naminé to laugh along with him. It was so easy to pretend that nothing had changed, and they were just Ven and Nami again. He was right, of course, they hadn't been "Mister" or "Miss" to each other since they'd had their first conversation.

"What are you doing here?" Naminé asked whilst drawing closer to Ven. It was rather cold, after all. It was completely rational for her to stand close to him. To put a hand on his shoulder.

Ven shrugged nonchalantly. There was a hard light to his eyes that Naminé didn't understand. But even he seemed to be unable to stay away from her. They were standing close now; Naminé could feel his breath on her face. Could see his it in the air when he breathed. "I'm just passing through. Lending a hand now and then, you know? Although, since Terra and Aqua are on an extended vacation, I should probably stay away from the worlds they're in."

"Oh!" It was clear in the way that Naminé said it, and in the way that Ventus looked at her approvingly, that she'd guessed right. So they were married, then? On their honeymoon even? That was certainly news. "Well, if you want to, you can spend time with Kai, Xi, and me."

As it often does in situations like this, it wasn't until the words left Naminé's lips that she realized she was giving in to what he'd wanted. That in trying not to love her friend, she'd ended up doing just that. She was giving someone else power over her again. Suddenly, the hardened look in his eyes made sense. The scene was the exact opposite of the last time she'd seen him. But it was also exactly the same.

"I'll see about that, Nami. But right now I have to keep these people calm. They're panicking about what their princess will choose." Ven nodded his head knowingly at Naminé (obviously he'd understood the wool she was trying to pull over the world's eyes), and then he was off.

Nami noted that he never really gave her an answer.

For the first time, even including the months that Naminé had distanced herself from him, Naminé didn't know if she'd ever see Ventus again.

...

It was ironic, really. Naminé had decided to become Radiant Garden's princess (pretending to be Kairi) so Kai wouldn't have to deal with it. She'd known from the beginning what she was getting herself into. First there would be a ball, and then there would be the ceremony. It was the former more than the ladder that had Naminé hyperventilating now. Kairi, Xion, and Aqua noticed this. They were surrounding Nami in an instant, checking her over. She heard words of reassurance, apolozies and thanks from Kairi, and then she imagined Ventus' voice. In that, she was all set. He would (and always had been) be there for her.

Naminé smiled at her friends. She even smiled at herself in the mirror. Then she got up, turned around, and headed towards her destiny. She was ready to be Kairi. She was ready to be Naminé.

...

The white witch thought it a very good thing that Ven was cleverer than Sora. At least in some ways. If it wouldn't have been for that, Naminé wasn't sure she would have seen him again. This Naminé didn't yet have faith in people. She didn't have faith in herself.

Naminé had been sitting outside on the small balcony outside the pent house they were staying at (Kairi still wasn't quite ready to meet her people in the palace), but it was just as well. No one had exactly figured out what to do yet. And Naminé willed the storm outside to speak to her. She really, really loved snow. It was just nice to be able to feel it. To not be trapped inside like she'd been accustom to. It was also nice to see something deadly but beautiful. When Naminé looked at the frozen particles, she saw a bit of herself. Lively, pure looking, capable of inflicting harm... free. It was the freedom she wanted more than anything. That was what she longed for. Maybe that's why she was out in the cold at midnight. Maybe that was why she couldn't get really close to people. Did she not feel free that way?

The girl sighed. She wouldn't find her answers tonight. She knew that. She put her forehead against the glass edge, and she felt her thoughts drifting in a different direction. Ven... her best friend. The sweetest person she'd ever met. Those days with him had been so perfect. Why, then, had she pushed him away?

Naminé's eyes snapped open. She realized she must have fallen asleep. Maybe it was the chilling air that had woken her? Or was it something else? She too had ended up with a sixth sense when Xehanort was large. Was someone approaching?

Yes, she probably would have been hyperventilating now if she didn't see something out of the corner of her eye. It seemed as though she had become used to spotting Ven's hair, too. She grinned when she saw him climbing up the balcony to meet her. She quickly helped him to his feet, and then they were both laughing at his ridiculous entrance. "Well, umm... that isn't at all how a prince should meet his princess. Let's pretend this didn't happen. Is that okay, Nami?"

Her only response was to put a hand over her lips and laugh even harder. Ventus looked at Naminé wide-eyed. And he looked rather flustered. Noting this, Naminé forced herself to sober up. "So what are you doing here, then? This isn't exactly a castle turret. Maybe your services are needed elsewhere."

"I was playing the Red Game." Upon seeing Naminé's expression, Ven scratched his head a little self-consciously. He muttered, "Nevermind. I don't think you'd get it. It's a game I used to play with my old friends. Red..."

The blond girl looked at Ven confused. Why he was saying that again, she didn't know. Or maybe, he thought "friend" sounded like it. Before Naminé could really try and put together what he was saying, he was gripping her shoulders, and shaking them eagerly. "No, Nami! You can be the princess! All you need is red hair. Think about it! It's the freedom you've always wanted. A freedom that can't be taken away. A freedom to effect change. Naminé, only you can make those important decisions. I know it."

As Ventus looked into Nami's eyes desperately, she understood the feeling in them. The feelings for her there. Of course she knew why he'd pushed her away! Of course she did. She'd done the same. They'd both wanted freedom. And they both didn't want to be hurt or used anymore. Why, then, didn't they confide in each other? "I'm not Kairi," Naminé said hopelessly. She'd always held back on saying those words. It was these words that were her greatest fear and regret. The thing she thought the most wrong about herself.

"Naminé," Ventus said with a goofy smile. He bumped her slightly, and as memories flooded back to her, she had to grin the same way. "You never were. Naminé, no one ever expected you to be. I just want you to be Nami." And at the words she'd waited to hear from Sora and Roxas both, she had to kiss him. When she did, she thought she'd never stop. Of course this is what she wanted! This was what she needed. Ven was perfect for her because they both had been hurt so badly. They were two broken pieces of a soul. And though they didn't fit each other perfectly, they held each other together. And his gentle touches to keep her from falling apart were all she ever could have wanted.

But was there something else she could have, too? In her elation, free spirit, and in the snow, Nami and Ven-

...

Naminé shook her head to dislodge the memories. She didn't need them right now. It was the future that mattered. A future they'd planned, but hadn't had the time to be in. The blond angel strode into a lovely reception hall. Coincidentally (or maybe it wasn't coincidence at all), the high-ceilinged chapel was a dusty rose pink. It matched perfectly with Naminé's dress. There was such beautiful architecture in violets twining up into the domed ceiling. It was the most beautiful sight Naminé had ever seen.

But when she saw her prince waiting for her in the center of the tan, circle floor, Nami's view changed. She lifted her dress into her hands again, and then she was sprinting. Then she was tackling Ventus. Nami's best friend just chuckled the entire time. He got a good hold on Naminé so she wouldn't send them both flying, but then they were still. When Naminé looked into Ven's vibrant blue eyes (so much like hers), she could read every emotion in them. She could read them and agree with them. She could tell through them, and his memories, that they would be together. They would never be apart. Such things had been what Naminé had always wanted. But instead of commenting on them, she simply said, "I'm glad all the pink doesn't clash with Kai's-my-hair."

Ven very much guffawed at that, as he leaned his head against Nami's and began twirling her in and out. Naminé was very glad that the true ball was still a half an hour away. She needed this moment with Ventus. Needed it to just be them. All too soon she'd be pretending to be Kairi, but for now, she wanted to be Nami. Wanted to be Nami and Ven. "I'm sorry I haven't seen you much lately, Ven. But I've been trying to cram in so much Radiant Garden history into my brain that-"

"That you really became like a trapped princess? Just say the word, Nami, and I'll free you anytime you want. It's the least I can do to get you out of this bubblegum lair when you got that chewing gum out of my hair."

It was quite amusing when the two teens bumped into each other at the same time. That really was their dynamic, wasn't it? When someone said something ridiculous, the other would nudge their love slightly. But funny how this time they'd done it at the same time. Funny how this time it would bring them closer.

Ven looked at Naminé's ridiculous gloves amusedly before he threw them onto the ground. It just so happened, that Ven dipped Naminé at that moment. So low, in fact, that she thought if he let go, she would easily fall atop the gloves. It wouldn't even be that much of a fall. But, of course, Ven pulled Naminé back up effortlessly. The girl blushed for more than one reason when she leaned her head against his chest. That wasn't enough for Ven though. He caught Naminé's lips in a sweet, and light kiss. Nami thought she very well might melt with the romantic atmosphere.

And then, something surprising made itself known to Naminé. The broken pieces of herself had been cemented over. She was whole now. She couldn't hurt over her past anymore. There was nothing to hurt for. She didn't hurt for not being loved, for not being part of a trio, for not having friends, for her past... really what was there to hurt over when she had Ventus holding her in his arms? Ven who would give himself up to the deceased Xehanort before he hurt Nami. Ven who had hurt as much as she had. Ven... who she had healed. And she had, hadn't she? Such a thing should have been obvious, but she'd always doubted herself. But suddenly, it made perfect sense why she should rule Radiant Garden. It made sense why everyone had come up with that idea.

Only someone that had been broken could own a broken world. Only a healed princess could heal the world.

As Naminé's friends began filing in to join her (it was an odd thing indeed to see Kairi with blond hair instead of her), Naminé was only aware of one thing. Could only hear one thing. It was the words Ventus whispered against her ear.

"Angels sing on silver clouds." It was what Ven had sung to her the night he'd told her to rule Radiant Garden. The best night of her life. What were they but fallen angels? Angels that taught each other to fly again. Angels that would cleanse the world. Nami and Ven danced the night away.

Author's Note Edit: By a mistake, I forgot to say one of the most important things about this story. It's very important to understand or else this story might seem off. I'll say exactly what I did to Dani so I won't forget anything:

Basically, I realized that so much of Naminé's life had been about being Kairi, wanting to be Kairi, and failing at being Kairi... that it couldn't go any other way. Even in her "happy ending" she'd be tangled in that web. And I just sort of realized the only way for her then, maybe the only way she ever would have imagined, would be to finally let it happen. To let it happen, but also fight it. To win against it by doing it. And rising above something that chained her down.

I also think it might be the only way she could forgive herself for the Sora/Kairi fiasco. I think it's the only way she could let go of her past, by being Kairi but for a good reason this time. A way to save, and help people.

I don't know if that makes sense to you, but it does to me. They do say to break a cycle, you have to do the exact thing that stated it, but differently. Maybe it comes from my belief that there really aren't pure happy endings, I don't know. I just felt like the only way Naminé could ever get over what owned her was to have it happen again, but have some control over it. And, of course, Ven would be there to make it all better. But I think life is all about taking the cards you've been given, and playing your own game with them. You'll win some, you'll lose some, but that's what it is to be human.

Author's Note: Oh my gosh, the fluff is clouding my eyes! This is the sweetest thing I've ever written. I'm getting cavities.

Anyway, as you've all probably figured out, the italics are the present, the regular text is the past, and the bold is the two coming together. Yep, in the flashback that got cut off, it too ended with "Nami and Ven danced the night away." Like I said, the past and present had come together.

I really, really hope you liked this Dani. At least somewhat. But I'm not gonna lie, I'm freaking out. Mainly because I've never written much about Naminé and Ven. Definitely nothing this long. I hope they're in-character for the most part. I hope this seems plausible, but I had to write this for you. One: because you love this pairing and you're right that they need more love, and two: because you made me love this pairing SO much. More than I had or ever would have without you.

I think you'll notice a lot of throwbacks to White Knight in this. In fact, they almost remind me of that's Ven/Nami in this. Mainly because Naminé seems lighter to me.

Also, I really hope this doesn't seem rushed. It somewhat does to me, but it might be because Ven/Nami's sort of a crack pairing, and I don't know if they'd go like this. I'd make it longer, but this is only supposed to be a one-shot. I couldn't fill in all the gaps for them unless I wrote a full story. Somehow, I think that's the only way it would seem right. But I still think it would have been boring if I'd added every step of their relationship. I don't know.

Umm... Oh! The title and Ven's quote (and I think other places) are reference to Flyleaf's "Set Apart This Dream". I'd so love to hear Jesse McCartney do a cover of that. LOL. Ven DOES have his voice.

So yeah, I hope you guys liked this. Happy (early) Christmas. And look for more of the one-shots I'll be posting this month. I have plenty planned. And forgive any mistakes. I miss Microsoft Word! It made life easier.

Love you, Dani! Hope you liked it. Hope to talk to you soon. GLOMPS

Read her White Knight story. It's freaking awesome. Best Ven/Nami (and fic) ever. And only then will you get some of these references. Hahaha.

I need to write some Riku/Nami... shutting up now.