Winter Wonderland

"Sora, only you could get us into this mess on Christmas Eve," Riku said as he rolled his eyes at his best friend. The silver hair teen glared at his friend with his aqua eyes, stern. He wasn't a happy camper at the moment. Sora always got himself into trouble at the worst possible times, but this time, he wasn't just by himself. He dragged him, Kairi, Roxas and Naminé along with him.

"Easy, Riku. Sora didn't know," Kairi responded soothingly, setting a hand on Riku's bare shoulder.

"Yeah Riku," Sora agreed. "How was I supposed to know that the snow globe was a magic one?"

"Maybe by reading the note attached to it before you started shaking it up." Riku was the practical one, as usual. He and his friends had been approaching Sora's house when they noticed a gift on his front steps with his name on it. While Sora ripped it open, Riku caught the note that he tossed aside. It read that the snow globe was an early Christmas gift from Santa, and when shaken, it would take them to the world within the snow globe. He had been about to warn Sora not to shake it, but it was too late.

And thus they ended up in their current predicament.

"C'mon, you know what happens when you're in the Christmas Spirit," Sora stated. "You get too excited to read boring stuff like that."

"I only know what happens because I see it happen to you every single year," Riku responded coolly. The coolness of the air was getting to him. There weren't many things that irritated the level-headed teen, but cold weather was one of them. Whenever he travelled, he tried to stay away from cold worlds and stay on warm ones like Destiny Islands. But now he was stuck here, in his sleeveless vest.

"Aw, Riku, where's your Christmas Spirit?" Naminé asked, stepping closer to her friend that she lovingly nicknamed "the Grinch." He was really being a downer this year.

"Somewhere warm and sunny."

"Haven't you ever heard of a White Christmas, though?" Kairi inquired of her big brother figure. "It's what I've always dreamed about! And now we can experience it, at least for a little while."

"It'll be more than a little while. We don't know how to get out of here."

Only Roxas was truly startled by that. "You mean it wasn't on the note?"

"It was, but I didn't get a chance to read it," Riku said as he shot Sora a dirty look.

"How hard could it be to get out?" Kairi asked rhetorically, shaking her head and taking her hand off Riku's shoulder in excitement. "We're here now, and I'm going to enjoy it. Naminé, let's go get coats from one of the shops!"

The girls ran off giggling into the town to get coats, which would hopefully be in one of the buildings. If the buildings were actually real. Sora couldn't help but wonder how real everything was in this world. But despite the doubts, it seemed plenty real to him. Shaking his head, he shifted his attention to the boy who had been mistaken as his twin a few times. "Roxas! Wanna try snowboarding?"

"You're on, man!"

Sora and his Nobody took off down the same path as the girls, which led to a mountain. They figured that snowboards would probably be stationed somewhere around there. But that left Riku by himself in the cold. The air and the falling snow may have made him chilly, but he was seething in anger and frustration, so that helped make him a little warmer.

Shaking his head in disbelief at his friends' immaturity, the Keyblade wielder started walking down Main Street. He was irked with them. They were stuck in this forsaken world with no way to return, and they were running off having fun? But that wasn't the only reason he was ticked. He was a little upset with himself, even if he didn't show it in his composure. He remembered a time when he was that worry-free. Invincible. But then he went through his time in the Darkness. He was stronger now, but more serious. He knew he wasn't invincible. And along with that, he lost some of his naiveté and innocence. He matured too quickly.

He tried to ignore his thoughts as he walked into town , observing everything. He saw that the buildings actually had real windows, doors, and even had items within them. Passing by one building, he saw Kairi and Naminé giggling and trying on winter coats. He wasn't trying to be a creep, but he stopped outside the window and watched them having fun. He wouldn't admit it to anyone, but he had a soft spot for the two girls. They were like his sisters. Each of them were dating Roxas and Sora respectively, and that left Riku as the only single one. That was okay. He worked better alone. But he still protected those girls with his life.

Those girls suddenly noticed his presence and their giggling stopped. Riku blinked at the change in their expressions. They weren't angry, they were…devious. Uh-oh. Riku shoved his hands into his jean pockets and started walking away, but he didn't get far. The girls raced out of the store and both grabbed onto his arms. Of course they weren't strong enough to drag him anywhere, but they did manage to stop him.

"Riku, c'mon!"

"You're freezing! Come try on coats with us!"


Riku looked over one shoulder at Naminé and saw her puppy-dog look, one that made his eyes soften. Grunting, he looked over his other shoulder to Kairi. She was giving him the same look. "No, don't give me those looks," he grumbled, eyebrows furrowing as he looked down at the ground. He didn't want to get dragged into a clothing store and try on clothes. He didn't even want to stay here! But he didn't want to make Kairi or Naminé sad; they were really happy here.

He sighed, letting his shoulders slump. His posture spoke the words that he didn't say aloud: Alright. "Nothing pink," he said to both the girls.

The comment brought more giggles out of them, though the laughter was probably from satisfaction that they convinced Riku to come into the store with them. They both turned him around before grasping one of his hands and leading him into the store for what he would consider to be torture.


"Sora, heads up!" Roxas called.

"Huh?" The brunet turned his head at Roxas's call, alarmed that something could be in his path as the two of them snowboarded down the hill. What he saw wasn't a tree or bush in his way. There was nothing in his path at all, actually. He blinked and turned his head to look at his Nobody, just in time to get a snowball to the face. "H-hey!"

Roxas only laughed, his warm chuckle reminiscent to the one that his Somebody often had. "Race you!" he cried, speeding down the hill past Sora. He was lucky that he rode his skateboard so often in the past; it was giving him an advantage here. Sora was a little more clumsy but at least he wasn't a danger to himself while snowboarding. This was one of his first times going, but he picked up on the skill quickly due to various experiences in the past.

The brunet scowled playfully, bending his knees as he picked up speed to catch up to Roxas. No way was he going to beat him that easily. Besides… "You cheated!" he called. "Getting a head start like that."

"What, Sora, are you scared you can't catch up?" Roxas's taunting voice carried back to Roxas.

Again, Sora scowled. "Nope, just saying that you'll have a lot of explaining to do when I still beat you!" He managed to pass Roxas, much to the boy's shock. Sora didn't have any explanation for why he was able to pass, except that Roxas was distracted by talking to him. But now he was going to win.

The two of them came down the mountain onto the snow covered Main Street, the road flattening as the hill ended. Sora tilted his snowboard to the side and came to a stop a few seconds before Roxas did. "Ha!" he cried, smirking at his Nobody.

"No fair, man! I had the lead!" Roxas remarked in shock and disbelief.

"Yeah, had," Sora said with a wider smirk. "I stole it from you."

"I want a rematch!"

"You don't get a rematch," the brunet laughed. "I've already proven I'm the better snowboarder."

"You got lucky!"


"What are you two bickering about now?" a voice from a nearby building asked.

Roxas and Sora both turned their heads at the same time, seeing Naminé, Kairi, and Riku standing outside one of the lit buildings.

"Roxas is being a sore loser," Sora stated.

Riku hmphed. "Isn't that normally your job, Sora?"

"W-what? Is not!" he cried, though he was getting flustered because Riku had a point. He was a sore loser in the distant past…and the not so distant past.

"I can think of a few examples where you were a sore loser," Riku stated. "Want me to list them off in front of your girlfriend?"

"Um, no thanks," Sora said sheepishly. He bent down and started undoing the straps of the snowboard, Roxas nearly done with the same job. Looking back up, he saw Riku's confident, cocky expression. "Looks like you're not so miserable now," he stated.

He shrugged faintly. "I'm not going to freeze to death now." He motioned to the black coat that he was wearing, his head also covered with a black hat. Sora glanced from one girl to another, quickly figuring out that they probably tried to get Riku to wear a brighter color but failed. Oh well. Sora and Roxas were already wearing red and blue coats, since they grabbed some quick before going snowboarding.

"And Riku was told that if he sulks now, he won't get to eat any of our cookies when we get back," Kairi said, smiling widely at her friend.

"Aw, I almost wish he would have kept sulking then," Roxas said as he shook his head. "That would mean more cookies for me."

"And me," Sora added. "But I think I deserve more because I won the race, even after Roxas cheated."

"Roxas, cheating for the sake of competition? He wouldn't…" Naminé said sarcastically.

Roxas whined. "Oh, come on! You're supposed to be on my side, Nam!"

Naminé giggled as she clasped her hands behind her back sweetly. "Sorry Roxas!"

"Oh-ho, you don't know sorry yet," he said. His expression changed from defeated to devious, his bright blue eyes sparkling with mischief. He obviously had something up his sleeve, but everyone was clueless as to what he was thinking. That is, until he bent down and scooped up some snow in his hands and formed it into a ball. He smirked and threw it at Naminé, hitting her shoulder with the projectile.

Naminé yelped in surprise, her eyes wide as she took a step back. Did Roxas seriously just…? Her pale blue eyes narrowed on her blond boyfriend. He would pay for that. She quickly knelt down in the snow and scooped up the snow, chucking it back at Roxas only to have him dodge it because of his great evasion.

"Duck and cover!" Sora cried. "This is going to get messy."

"Too late," a voice from behind him said. He glanced over his shoulder to see what Riku was up to, but he was too late. Riku shoved snow down the brunet's coat, making him gasp and freeze with the cold. Riku stepped away to see Sora writhing with the cold, shaking his coat to try and get it out. He didn't see the snow falling out, so he kept his guard down. Big mistake on his part.

Without shaking out the snow, Sora spun around and threw himself at Riku with a cry, tackling his taller, bigger friend in the snow with ease. The two rolled around in the snow, trying to get on top of each other and pin their friend for the victory.

Kairi laughed at the scene, seeing that Riku believed that he should have the victory because he was the bigger one. But Sora was slippery; not literally, but he wouldn't easily be pinned down by Riku. The redhead shook her head in amusement before she joined in with Roxas and Naminé in their snowball fight, preferring to do that than roll around in a pile with Sora and Riku.

The five of them stayed out in the frigid air for a long time, throwing snowballs at each other, wrestling, making snow angels, or just laying in the ground staring up at the dark night sky. They could all see their breath as they laid there, though none of them complained of the cold anymore. Not even Riku.

"This is amazing," Kairi breathed. "A whole world within a snow globe. It's so beautiful, too…"

"I wish that we could stay," Naminé said softly. The blonde turned her head and looked at Roxas, who was staring up at the stars with a sullen expression. She could tell that he wasn't sad; he was just realizing like they all were that their fun had to come to an end. She rolled over onto her side and wrapped an arm over his stomach, her head finding his chest. She wanted this moment to last forever, just as everyone else did.

They all knew trouble would come when they returned to the real world. All but Naminé held a Keyblade before, and they all knew what trouble came along with that. But today, they got to experience the lives of normal teenagers. No interruptions, no responsibilities, no danger. Even those who wanted adventure, like Sora and Riku, had to agree that it would be nice to have a normal life sometimes.

"It's alright."

Everyone turned their heads to Riku, surprised to hear him speak up. But they were even more surprised when he continued.

"This world is…magical, in its own way, but it's not a world that we're meant to live in. Time stands still here; nothing happens. We're meant to live greater lives than what we could live while we're here," Riku said as he gazed at the stars. His expression was serious, as it usually was, but now hope shone in his eyes. He said the words that all of them were struggling to form, and he put it so simply that they couldn't deny their truth.

A bright light surrounded all of them suddenly, the light so bright that all of them covered their eyes to shield themselves from the illumination. Though this experience was new to all of them, they understood what happened. Then when they opened their eyes, it was all confirmed.

They were back in their reality.

But the reality was different than when they left it. The five sat on Sora's porch and faced the beach, where they saw that the sand wasn't so tan and the trees weren't so gold. They were all covered in a light layer of…

"Snow!" Roxas gasped, saying what all of them were thinking. It was snowing in Destiny Islands! Not only was there a light layer of snow covering everything, but the snow was still falling.

Naminé and Kairi were the first to grasp that the snow was really here. The two squealed before they rose to their feet, rushing out into the open air and looking up at the grey sky. They laughed with glee, sticking out their tongues to catch snowflakes.

"Hey, wait for me!" Roxas cried, laughing. "I wanna do it too!" He pushed himself up from his seat and ran over to join the girls, his expression also showing mirth and Christmas joy. All of them were in the Christmas spirit now, even Riku.

The teen rose up from his seat at the same time as Sora, stuffing his hands into his jean pockets as he watched the three looking silly catching snowflakes. Even if he felt Sora's gaze on him, he didn't speak up. As usual, the brunet said his thoughts first.

"What are you thinking?" he asked his best friend.

"It didn't even feel like snow before we left," Riku said softly. And yet now that they were here, it was snowing. And that never happened on the Islands. Sora spoke the thoughts that were entering Riku's mind before he even considered saying them aloud.

"Guess it's a Christmas miracle," Sora responded, his voice quiet and serious with his friend. But it was also happy.

"Guess so."

"So, you still mad about being trapped in the snow globe for a little while?"

"Nah," Riku said, shaking his head as he shifted his gaze to Sora. "I'm happy."

"Hm," Sora hummed, smiling. He lightly tapped Riku with a balled-up hand, his eyes showing happiness for more reasons than one. Even if Riku's sentences were short, Sora could tell that his friend truly was happy. It had been a while since he saw that. "Good to have you back, Riku."

As Sora walked away to join the others, Riku only took a small step forward so that he could look up and see the sky more clearly. His aqua eyes were no longer dull like the grey sky was now, and his heart was no longer cold like the frozen snow that was falling.

Smiling faintly, he spoke mostly to himself.

"Good to be back."


Author's note: Hey people. 'Sup? I've been wanting to do a oneshot for a while, and with Christmas nearly here, I wanted to do one about that. Inspiration struck in a very weird way today, but I'm happy with how this turned out even if I wrote it all in one day. Hope you all enjoyed it. If you did, let me know by sending a review my way. It'll only take you a minute, and I spent so much more time than that working on the story. xD

Oh, and check out my other stories if you want. It'd make me happy. (:

And have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!