Everyone has a favorite season – for a myriad of different reasons. Fall covered the ground with thousands of leaves that kids loved to jump into right after their parents raked them into a pile. Winter was beautiful with its freshly fallen snow and holiday lights and music. Spring brought about the colors of the countless flowers and animals that had all slept through the winter. Summer had the most appeal to students who had spent the rest of the year sitting inside a school building for eight hours and were ready to have more than two days of the week to have fun.

Ventus had a hard time picking a favorite season, much like he had a head time picking a favorite of just about anything. So, as the end of the school year came around and an essay about the seasons was assigned, he found himself struggling late one night. It was very unlike the blond to put off an assignment to the night before it was due, but he really had been thinking hard about it ever since the teacher had announced the topic. He laid on his bed in the room in the orphanage he shared with his best friend, four papers spread out in front of him, each starting with the same thesis, but for a different season. He had one hand on his head, fingers closed with tufts of dirty blond sticking between them. The other hand tapped a pencil on the closest sheet of paper as he tried to think of what to write.

'Well. . Christmas time is always fun. . . ' he thought to himself. His thoughts traveled back to half a year earlier, when he had finally convinced his very stubborn best friend to reconsider his feelings of the holiday. A smile came to his lips as he released his hair and let his hand travel down to a ring that hung on a thin chain around his neck.

"I don't think that's going to help you get any ideas."

Ven jumped at the sudden voice and looked up to see Vanitas standing in the doorway, watching him. "Vani! I know th-that!" the blond stammered. He was then quiet for a few moments as he observed the smirk on the dark-haired teen's lips. "How long were you standing there?" he asked, a blond eyebrow arched in question.

"Long enough to know that at this rate, you're going to get a zero and ruin your perfect grade in Writing, causing you to fail and ruin all chances of getting into college," Vanitas teased with yet another smirk. "C'mon – just B.S. it. What's so hard about picking a favorite season, anyways?"

The blond pouted, especially after the other's suggestion of how to write the paper. He knew it would be easy – the teacher was really just looking for grammar, spelling, and a paper that made sense. It was not like they would know whether or not Ven was telling the truth about his favorite season. "I just like so many things about each season. What about you? I know you're not in the same class, so you don't have to write this paper, but which would you choose?" he asked curiously.



"Yep. Summer."

"That's what everyone says, though," Ven pointed out.

"So? I like it for a different reason. You know I don't like hanging around outside."

"Okay. Why do you like it then?"

Vanitas was silent.

"C'mon, Vani – I want to know!" Ventus whined. Sapphire eyes blinked softly as Vanitas walked across the room and sat down on the edge of the bed.

He reached a hand down and took the pencil out of the blond's hand. "Close your eyes and breathe." The blond pouted, reaching for the pencil and he held it out of the smaller boy's reach. "Do it."

Ven sighed in defeat and closed his eyes. He inhaled deeply, then let it all out. "Can I open my eyes now?"



"Tell me. Do you feel better now?"

"Yeah, but I still don't get it. This isn't helping with my paper at all."

"Breathe again. And forget about the stupid paper for a second." The blond took a deep breath once again. "Now think about summer. No school – no teachers, no books, no stupid papers. You like the sun, and the water, and pretty much everything else about it besides not being in school, since you're weird."

"Van. . . "

"Sh. Do you want to know what I like about summer or not?"

"Of course."

"It's simple – it's because summer is the time of year when you're not stressing out about every single detail. In the summer, you're calm – just like you are right now. Not to mention, I get to see you all day, every day. School is way too boring with you not around."

Ventus felt something touching his forehead and let his sapphire eyes flutter open slowly. He looked at Vanitas, seeing that the dark-haired teen had his lips pressed to his forehead. "Okay. I think I can write this paper now. Thanks, Vani," he said with a small smile. His pencil was still out of reach, so he practically jumped on his friend and, surprising both of them, quickly pressed his lips to the other's lips, his hand moving over the one holding the writing tool.

'Summer starts tomorrow. And I get to spend every day of it with Vanitas,' he thought with a smile.